Adopt a Pet Guide

A Step-By-Step Guide
to Adopting A Pet

Getting a pet is always an exciting time in anyone's life, but when you know that you're helping a once mistreated, unloved animal find his forever home, it makes it that much better.

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Can you offer a pet a home for life?

Yes
No

Due to the turbulent, abusive or unhappy homes that most rescue animals come from, shelters often look for 'forever homes' for their residents, to guarantee that the rest of their life will be considerably better than the start. Taking on an animal for the rest of its lifetime is a big step, so make sure you're ready for it. Some shelters, however, will consider loans for bigger animals, like horses, to ensure their security in case anything goes wrong.

Are you open to finding the perfect pet, whether he's young, old, mixed breed, or pedigree?

Yes
No

Picking your pet from a rescue centre may narrow your choices although you can look online and call ahead to see what they have in, it's likely that you'll be bowled over by the wagging tails, smiley faces and heart-wrenching stories to worry about whether he or she is pedigree or not!

Do you have the time and facilities?

Yes
No

When you first bring an adopted pet into your home, they will be incredibly confused about where they are and what to expect. They will continue to feel anxious until they get to know you, and the best way to gain their trust is to spend a lot of time with them. As well as having the correct equipment in place for your pet, you must ensure that somebody will be available for the pet at all times, and that they can be both patient and understanding with the animal.

Have you considered training your pet?

Yes
No

An adopted pet may require a lot of patience. Their previous owners may have used different training equipment and vocabulary to what you are planning on using, or they may have never even been trained at all. If you are able to get hold of any of their previous training information, it can be incredibly useful and can help to limit the animal's confusion.

Have you checked out local shelters or online for bigger charities?

Yes
No

When you consider adopting an animal, make sure to check both local and national charities and shelters! Even if you're based fairly far from rehoming centres, many charities advertise the animals they have online, so you're free to browse through until you find your perfect match. The smaller places may not have the time or resource to put into online rehoming, but they'll always be happy to hear from you over the phone. If you live near any shelters, drop in for a look, and see who you find!

Have you picked a pet, and started the process?

Yes
No

Although each centre will handle it differently, there's a layout that most will follow when it comes to rehoming.

Ready for a home check, if required?

Yes
No

Depending on what animal you're adopting, the rescue centre may want to conduct a home check. This is just to make sure that you have enough space, the correct kind of fencing, and a pet-friendly space for your newest family addition.

Are you happy to make changes to your home?

Yes
No

As charities and rescue centres have extremely high standards, they may want you to make small changes to your home to suit whichever pet you've chosen. These may be things as simple as fitting child-locks onto cupboard doors, or bigger projects, like investing in better fences. The people doing the homechecks will make it as painless as possible, and you just need to remember they only have the animal's best interests at heart!

Have you considered preparing your home with suitable beds, toys, baskets and pet food?

Yes
No

If this is your first pet, you'll want to ensure that you've got everything ready and in place for their arrival. Sort out any hutches, beds or baskets that you'll need, as well as feed, bowls and an assortment of toys!

Do you have an insurance plan sorted?

Yes
No

Insuring your pet should be one of the first things you do. Veterinary and medical bills can quickly start to add up even for routine check-ups and necessary vaccinations! Finding an insurance plan that will ensure your pet's health and well-being, no matter what happens, is vital, and many charities and rescue centres will request that you do it.

Ready to pick him/her up?

Yes
No

Once you've got your house sorted, feed in place, and a suitable way of getting him or her home you're sorted!

Have you completed a home visit after adoption?

Yes
No

Many places will want to check in on your new pet once he or she has settled in: even though you're his new owner, the centre will still like to keep an eye on him during the settling in period, and check that the relationship is going well and as expected. This is always useful, as the centre will be there for any queries or problems you may have, and if the two of you don't get along as well as you'd hoped, they'll be there to either give you more advice on building a bond, or take him back and find you a better suited animal.

You now have a friend for life!

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