Every year we see the same discussions on Television or all over the internet. Many families decide to finally tick their child’s wish off the Christmas list and adopt a pet. A bad idea? There is a persistent rumor that most pets wouldn’t stay long in their new home after the Christmas holidays are over. A lot of animal lovers would demonstrate that getting a pet for their 6-year-old for Christmas, would be a well-thought-out Gift.
Just like most rumors, they don’t come particularly from a fact sheet. In fact, according to the ASPCA (https://www.aspca.org/about-us) 86% of pets given as gifts actually stay with their new family. These rates show higher success than average adoption rates. But to get it all right, you must first understand the responsibility of adopting a furry family member, and we have written down a checklist for you, to see if your home could be in the 86% success adoptions and what you can do to find out if the pet you are planning to get would fit your family’s lifestyle.
Am I allergic?
This is a very important question to answer because 15-20% of people are allergic to pets and a lot of them only find out once they get a reaction after adopting. To be sure neither you nor anyone else in your family is allergic, get tested at your GP.
Borrow a pet
By that we don’t mean, get one and return it if you don’t like it but you can sign up as a volunteer to walk dogs in your local shelter. Most shelters are in need of walkers or volunteer carers and be happy to have you and in case they are already full, you can be put down on a waiting list.
Offer friends with pets to pet sit when they decide to go on holidays or ask your neighbor if you and your child could take their dog for a walk around the block on a regular basis.
If this isn’t enough responsibility to see if a pet would be the right decision, then you can foster a pet before it gets adopted or even help with the adoption process. Here you should just make sure, that you explain your family what exactly fostering means and that the pet might not stay with the family for good. In some cases, the pet is a perfect match for the foster family and will find its final home with you.
There is a lot of websites where you can sign up, to become a foster family, for example:
Take a Test
Yes, you read it right. Take an online test to see, what pet would be your perfect match. You can weigh it out by asking yourself how strict you are, how often you exercise, if you can be dominant towards an animal etc. Some websites offer those kinds of tests and towards to end you will hopefully know if a German Shepperd or a stubborn Husky really would be the right choice for you. There are so many different breeds of dogs and Cats out there and all of them have different needs and need a different amount of attention and care.
Have you ticked all the points off and the outcome is still positive towards getting a pet for Christmas, birthday, easter, …? Then you can start looking into adopting a new family member. Make some research to find the right place to adopt from, look into organizations and shelters first instead of contacting a breeder. But keep in mind that a dog is a commitment. It takes time, costs money and needs as much attention as any other family member.