What does a casual Sunday brunch, Saturday errands at the mall and a random Wednesday night all have in common? They all end with a spontaneous trip to the pet store. You know, the kind where all of a sudden you are standing there petting a dog with kittens on your lap wondering how you got there in the first place. We’ve all been there. It happens to me every weekend, and while I’m not mad at it, I also know that 2-3 mimosas in is not the way to adopt a pet.
To help you avoid a complete disaster, we chatted with celebrity vet Dr. Lisa Lippman to share her tips on making pet adoption as seamless for all parties involved as possible. Make sure that your first stop is your local ASPCA, or The Animal Lighthouse Rescue.
Step 1: Know your $#!T
Unlike our blood relatives, we can choose our fur family, and there are so many things to consider; short hair vs. long hair and the shedding aspect, a small dog that is easier to travel with or a larger breed dog, activity level, and that’s just the beginning. Dr. Lippman says not to rule out bigger breeds just because you live in a city. “They tend to be calmer and not need as much room as people think. They tend to be couch potatoes; happy to run, but also happy to lay in bed,” she said. Ask friends, find a blog community, just make sure you are knowledgeable about the breed before you get too deep into the process.
Step 2: Buy them $#!T
“It’s best to have everything you need before bringing your new family addition home. Dog behavior is the number one reason dogs get euthanized, so it’s important to have all of your checks and balances in place,” Dr. Lippman said. If you are adopting a puppy or a kitten, the Puppy Shop and Kitten Shop are great resources for everything you will need, from food starter kits to bowls and everything in between, this will make sure you don’t forget anything. Another pro tip, bring the dog collar and leash or the cat carrier to the shelter with you.
Step 3: Get to know them and love the $#!t out of them
Just like in any new relationship, Dr. Lippman explains that there can be a honeymoon stage when you bring home your new friend. “They can be very unsure and anxious. They may be quiet and sleep a lot, and then when they get more confident you’ll see their real personality. It can be wonderful, but there can be little issues that might need to be worked on. It’s all about starting a new relationship, seeing what works best for both of you,” she said. Just pick up some some behavioral aids and training treats, and you are good to go.