Is the breed and/or age of the pet you're interested in a good fit for your lifestyle? Be honest! If you're a couch potato at heart, your good intentions of going to the park every day with a young, active dog might not come to pass. How much time do you have available for your pet, in comparison to the needs of the pet you've chosen? For example, a puppy is not a good choice for someone who works long hours.
When you bring your new pet home, please realize this is all a big change for him or her! Even a young puppy or kitten has had several situations to adjust to before coming home with you. An adult dog or cat may have had many more. Somehow or another, though no fault of her own, your new dog or cat may have found herself homeless and then bounced around through any number of changes, and it may take her some time to settle into her new home. Try to be reasonable in your expectations. Accidents may occur. Set rules for your dog to follow and make sure everyone else in the family is prepared to follow through on those rules as well. Sometimes it can take many weeks until your pet becomes completely comfortable. Please commit to giving them that time!
If you're adopting a cat, he might hide when he first gets home. He might forget some of his litter box habits or bringing a new pet home might cause your previous cats to not use one. Give him time! Some encouragement, a lot of love and even more PATIENCE and he'll be a wonderful companion.
If you're adopting a dog, he might already have negative opinions of people. He might flinch when you move quickly, or raise your voice. Approach him with confidence and he will learn to be confident too. He may forget his manners, if he knew them at all, and need you to show him the rules again, consistently and fairly. It might take some time and again lots of PATIENCE but soon he will become your dog and it will all be worthwhile.
PLEASE consider taking your dog to obedience classes! Even experienced dog owners can always learn something new. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you've put the effort into helping your dog be an enjoyable family member, odds are you'll want to stay with him or her throughout their whole lives. Check our business partners' page for trainer suggestions.
Are you still with us? Good! Not all dogs or cats will come with this much baggage but it's best to be prepared! When you consider how many hundreds of unwanted dogs and cats come through Planned Pethood's adoption program alone, you'll understand why it's so important to us to try to assure the best possible adoptions, so you and your pet have many enjoyable years together.