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adopting a pet

4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Pet

Having a pet is beneficial for your emotional health, especially because they help in decreasing depression, anxiety, and stress. These adorable creatures provide loyal companionship to you and to members of your family. Nothing beats coming home to your pet after a long, long day at school or your office and playing with them, which instantly boost your mood.

Pet adoption has even more advantages because it gives you an opportunity to take care of an animal that was once neglected, maltreated, or abused. You can give them a second chance at life and restore their faith in humanity.

Here are some questions to ask before you adopt a pet:

1. Is the Facility a Shelter or a Rescue?

Before you go and scan for top dog names online, you need to be aware of the type of organization where you’ll be adopting your pet. Shelters and rescues operate differently, and their adoption processes also vary. You will get different levels of information from these institutions. However, they both serve an assortment of needs of both pet owners and animals.

  • Shelter – A shelter, also known as the pound, refers to an organization run by a private foundation or a government which has a physical site that houses strays. This type focuses on urgent or same-day adoptions to make more space for other animals. They may only have basic information about the adoptive pets such as names, breed, brief history, and vaccinations that have been applied to the creatures.
  • Rescue – This type is typically operated by private organizations but it has no facility. It relies on foster homes or volunteers who temporarily take care of the animals until they get an adoptive home. Rescues are smaller in size than shelters, but they can provide more personalized care. You can get detailed information about the animal from the volunteers, such as the likes and dislikes of your potential pet.

2. How Did the Pet End Up in a Shelter or Rescue?

Knowing the pet’s story and how they ended up in a shelter or rescue can give you insight on what the personality of the animal might be. You will need extra patience to break the barriers and care for pets that were once abused and neglected. You can also ask how long they have been in the facility as well as whether they’ve been adopted and were returned.

adopting a dog

3. Has a Veterinarian Examined the Animal?

Pet spending is going up. To be ready for the medical costs of having a pet, you need to know the status of the pet’s general health and well-being. If the animal has been observed by a vet and has confirmed medical issues, be sure that you can accommodate the additional expenses on your budget. Also, ask for the vaccines that the creature has received.

Common health issues for rescue dogs include:

  • Fleas – Some pets arrive in the shelter or rescue with fleas or flea eggs in the body. Most organizations treat all animals for these insects, and you may need to continue treatment at home.
  • Intestinal Worms – This is another health issue that’s usually addressed by rescue organizations before sending pets out to adoptive homes. If the pet you chose has worms, consult your vet on the right treatment plan.
  • Heartworms – This disease is terminal for dogs if left untreated. It’s caused by a parasitic roundworm and is spread through mosquito bites.
  • Kennel Cough – This is a viral infection characterized by a loud “honking” cough, fever, lethargy, sneezing, and appetite loss. It is treatable, so don’t worry and just talk with your vet.

4. Is the Animal Trained?

Most animals in the shelter have been housetrained. You should particularly ask if the animal has been potty trained. This is the most fundamental lesson that your pet must have. Moreover, if a potential dog or cat has been trained, make sure that the way they go suits you, so you don’t have to reprogram the way they pee or poop, which is more difficult than training an animal from scratch. Other basic commands that you can check with the animal include sit, come, down, stay, and leave it.


By adopting from a pet shelter or rescue, you save a dog or a cat or both from being euthanized due to lack of resources to support them. Most pets are also spayed, neutered, and vaccinated, which saves you from the costs of these procedures. Plus, you are also helping fight the battle against puppy farms who only breed puppies for profit at the expense of the animals’ well-being.