Since the dawn of civilization, humans and animals have shared a powerful bond. What started as a need for survival has evolved into a relationship of true companionship; from therapy dogs to working ranch horses to the family cat. The pandemic saw a surge in pet adoption during quarantine, but many new pet owners were not prepared for the full scope of responsibility that comes with caring for an animal. As we kick off a brand-new year (oh hey, 2022!), the team at Offleash’d would like to offer a few tips for the animal lovers out there looking to find their fur-ever friend.
Before plunging into the cute and cuddly world of animals, take a moment to look at the financial side of pet ownership as well. While puppies are usually the most popular choice for adoption, their everyday care can quickly add up, from initial shots and annual vaccinations, adoption fees, food and toys, to any additional training they might require. Adopting an older animal is a great way to give a deserving pet a second chance at life, but they often have potential health issues which may require extra vet visits or costly accommodations. This is a great chance to assess your situation and plan accordingly for the kind of pet you want.
Most pets require a significant amount of attention, whether it be daily walks around the neighborhood or regular litterbox/tank/cage cleaning, so consider how much time you are able to commit to your pet. While cats are well known for their independent attitude and low-maintenance care, they still require attention and stimulation to lead happy, healthy lives. The same goes for certain reptiles, rodents or fish, which are great for those with busy schedules or for children to learn the basics of pet care. Just keep in mind that every animal requires their own unique type of care.
Do you live in a house or an apartment? Do you have access to green space for walks and play? These are just some of things to consider depending on what type of pet you are looking to adopt. Some animals and breeds thrive in large open spaces where they can get plenty of exercise - so if you don’t happen to live on a ten-acre farm but have your heart set on a dog known for its boundless energy, consider whether daily access to a large yard or dog park is feasible.
Temperament is such a huge factor in choosing the right pet. Utilize the expertise of shelter employees or breeders to discern what animal would be right for your situation and personality. Like humans, every animal has their own personality, and many cases of pets being given up or returned to the shelter is a case of mismatched dispositions. If possible, spend some time with the pet you are hoping to adopt to learn how they interact with you and others, especially if multiple family members or children are involved.
Nearly 70% of US households are home to at least one pet, and Offleash'd wants to help you join the community! We hope these tips can help make this process a little easier so that you can find your own animal companion.