Want to adopt a pet? Here's what you need to know!
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) —
Bringing a new pet into your family can be an exciting experience. But before you rescue a pet, there might be a few things to know.
1. Factors to weigh
Before you bring your new furry friend home, you may want to consider a few things. Your available free time, lifestyle and finances are all things you should weigh. Because The Idaho Humane Society has a lot more than just dogs and cats you can consider a wide range of options.
"Some animals, it doesn't take much to sustain them," said Kristine Schellhaas with the Idaho Humane Society. "Small animals are very easy, you clean their cages, and they do require some attention. But when it comes to other animals like dogs, depending on the type of dog you have that could require a significant amount of time."
Schellhaas says IHS can help match you with a pet based on your needs and lifestyle too. In addition to dogs and cats, IHS helps all kinds of animals find a forever home, including birds, guinea pigs, bunnies and rats!
2. Are your kids ready?
Parents, after your kids beg you for a pet, how do you determine that they are ready? Shellhaas says it depends on how involved you want your child to be with the care. If you are wanting your kids to primarily take care of a future animal, understanding how responsible they are, and determining how it will fit into their schedules is key.
"Actually get them to commit if you get this pet, what they will do" said Schellhaas. "Have them sign a contact---just something fun the kids can do---but then they'll also feel like they have some ownership in the new family pet."
Schellhaas also suggests having kids to have a task and responsibility with the pet---whether its feeding or walking it daily. Small pets---like rats, rabbits or gerbils---may be a good start for kids to learn more about animal care.
3. Knowing which traits will work best
Each and every animal is different, so matching an animal that will fit well with your lifestyle is important. For example, if you're looking for a hiking partner, you might want more of an energetic dog (although keep in mind, that might mean you will need to exercise it more than just once or twice a week!) Also note that puppies and kittens take a lot more work, time and energy than older animals.
"Someone looking for more of a couch potato companion might want to get a dog that's older, that's already potty trained," said Schellhaas.
Schellhas suggests not having a high-energy dog locked in a home for a long period of time either, and asking IHS about the information available on an animal to make the best decision.
4. Taking your Pet Home
Once you decide on a pet, consider where you are going to put the pet right away. Schellhaas recommends starting off in a bathroom, or in a smaller room of the house right, before slowly introducing it to the rest of the home. It takes dogs three days to acclimate to their new home, and two weeks to accept their new environment. Also, its not uncommon for your new pet to act differently than what you saw at the shelter.
""The pet you may be getting in the shelter, might not be the same pet you end up with in your house," said Schellhaas. "Some of the animals may be more scared and quiet, or may be more high strung here at the shelter. But when you get home, you might find a more relaxed, lower key animal which is often what we find."
If you have another pet, Schellhaas suggests introducing them slowly.
For dogs, adoptions range from around $300 for younger puppies---to $50 for older ones. Cats, small animals and birds, each have their separate prices as well.