1. Finding the Perfect Pet for Your Family

    There is no better place to start when looking to add a new family member than your local animal shelter. Most shelters are staffed with well trained workers who can help you select the right pet to fit your lifestyle. The benefits of adopting a shelter animal are many. Here are some tips when searching for the pet that is right for your family.

    • Do your research. Finding the pet that is right for your family takes time and patience. Take into consideration what type of lifestyle you have. Is the family active? Do you live in the city or the suburbs? Certain breeds of dogs are better suited for particular lifestyles. So if you live in an apartment, a Jack Russell Terrier is not likely going to be a good match unless you can provide daily excercise.
    • Find a good veterinarian. Start with the phone book, and talk with friends and nieghbors to see who they recommend. When choosing a veterinarian for your beloved pet, it is also a great idea to talk with them personally and tour the facilities.
    • Choose a pet according to budget. If you have a tight budget, getting a Great Dane is a bad idea. Take into consideration that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment, and some pets live much longer and require more care.
    • Don’t pick a pet on impulse. This is one of the most common reasons pets are returned to animal shelters. Don’t let impulse be the deciding factor when choosing your new family member. Instead, consider the animals’ size, health and temperament first over visual appeal.
    • Once you have decided on your breed and species of pet, get your home ready. Buying food, dishes, toys and bedding ahead of time will help you to avoid a frantic run to the store later. This is also the best time to pet proof your home, taking precautions with stairways, doors, outlets, household chemicals and other things that could be potential safety hazards.
    • Consider an adult cat or dog. Kittens and puppies are adorable, but they require a lot more work. They chew, damage property and need a lot of interaction and training. Adult cats and dogs are through the awkward baby stage and are ready to be a companion. Often, they are already house trained and spayed or neutered.

    By taking a little extra time to make your decision, you can find the pet that is right for you and your family. And by finding your next pet at your local animal shelter, you will be rewarding yourself and your family with a loyal new friend that will give a lifetime of love.

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