Preparing to adopt a pet requires that you think about many factors before welcoming this new addition into your family. Here are a few to get you started. To find a local place to adopt that dog, cat, or maybe a parrot, look in the Dex Knows listings.
Think about your home environment
Though you may have always wanted a Great Dane, if you live in an apartment downtown, this probably isn’t the best choice. Likewise, you may want to shy away from dogs with thick heavy coats that may not do well during hot muggy summers if you live in Chicago or some places in the South. Choose a pet that will thrive where you live.
Consider your lifestyle
An independent cat is probably a better choice than a dog for someone who works 12-hour days. If you have a more flexible schedule that better complements having a dog, pick one that’s a good match for your level of physical activity: A collie or lab would love accompanying you on a daily run, whereas a pug or French bulldog will be happiest curled up on your lap in front of the TV and out of the heat. Whatever type of pet you’re interested in, study the breed’s characteristics and traits to ensure a good match.
Take into account pet allergies
Make sure that all of your family members are tested for pet allergies before introducing a four-legged friend into your home. If allergies are a concern, consider hypoallergenic breeds such as a cockapoo dog or a Sphynx cat — or bring home some pretty tropical fish instead.
Tips & Warnings
- A new pet requires many upfront costs, such as a physical exam with a vet, spaying or neutering and licensing fees. Before choosing a pet, make sure you have the budget to properly care for one.
- If your rental lease specifically says no pets, don’t sneak one into your home. Your landlord could terminate your lease if your pet is discovered.
- Always get your pets from local animal shelters or reputable breeders.
- According to the Humane Society of the United States, one in four shelter dogs is a purebred.
- While the U.S. has more dog owners than cat owners, cat owners more often live with multiple felines, making cats the top-ranking U.S. pet.
- While dogs and cats remain by far the most common pets in the U.S., birds, fish, turtles, iguanas, snakes, ferrets and mice are other popular options.
To find a local pet adoption center, look in the local Dex Knows listings.