Thinking about adopting a new furry friend? Congratulations! To make sure it's a great fit all the way around, ask yourself some important questions before you start searching our Petstablished Pet Network nationwide shelter and rescue database.
What's your lifestyle?
Your answers to a few key questions will tell you a lot about the kind of pet that will fit into your household. Here are a few to start with:
Do you live in a 3rd-floor apartment with no outdoor space, or a big house with a backyard?
Do you have young children who might need to be supervised around a new pet?
Is someone home a lot of the time, or will there be long stretches where your cat or dog will be alone?
Do you have other pets, and how are they with other animals?
What's your type?
Different breeds, in both cats and dogs, have a variety of personalities and temperaments. Even if you’re ultimately looking for a mixed-breed pet, doing some research can help you narrow down the choices. For instance, dogs that are all or part “working dog” (like cattle dogs, shepherds, and border collies), may need more activity and mental stimulation than more mellow breeds. Some breeds are better with children or other pets.
Once you know what kind of temperament you’re looking for, consider a few other details:
Age: Puppies and kittens are adorable, but make sure you’re equipped to take on the increased attention and training they need as they grow up. An older pet can be a better fit if you’re looking for a less-excitable animal—and one who’s already potty-trained.
Size: You may be a big dog fan, but can you restrain him when there's a squirrel on your daily walk? Think about your physical capabilities now, and into the next 10 years. It's also a good idea to consider the size of your living space relative to how big the animal will be.
Coat: Dogs and cats with longer fur require more brushing and grooming to keep their coats healthy. (On the other hand, brushing can be a great way to relax and bond with your new pet.)
Care: Think about who's going to do what before your new pet comes home, like walking, feeding, cleaning up messes, and changing the litter box.
Ready to look?
Great! To find millions of cats and dogs looking for a forever home, visit the Petstablished Pet Network nationwide shelter and rescue database. The site gives you access to a network of thousands of animal shelters and rescues and allows you to search by location, breed, age, sex, and size.