You’re in for an exciting journey! Adopting an animal friend is sure to bring fun, love, and great memories to your life. To make this transition smooth for the both of you, we suggest getting prepared as much as possible.

Team MUTTS has created a list to help you go from thinking about animal adoption to bringing home your new furry friend!

Decide Which Animal Is Best For You

You may have decided that you’re ready to adopt before determining what animal you want. The best thing to do is ask what makes practical sense for your life now and in the future.

A cat may be perfect if you live a busy lifestyle and prefer a more independent animal companion; however, keep in mind they also tend to climb and can hide virtually anywhere! If you choose a dog, you won’t have to worry about discovering them on top of the refrigerator — but you’ll need to add plenty of walks into your weekly schedule. During this important decision-making stage, weigh the pros and cons of adopting different kinds of animals, and be honest with yourself about doing what works best not only for you, but also for your new furry family member.

If you’re still undecided, visit your local adoption shelter or try Petfinder, which is a great tool to not only help you find the right companion but also to provide plenty of resources throughout your journey.

Know the Expenses

Before making the leap to adopt, consider all possible expenses to ensure your new family member will be safe, healthy, and comfortable at your home. To help avoid any surprise costs, create a list. For starters, a few common expenses include:

  • Initial healthcare costs such as spay/neutering and vaccinations
  • Ongoing wellness checkups with your veterinarian
  • Healthcare savings in the event of an emergency
  • Initial supplies (pet bed, bowls, leash/collar, ID tags, litter box)
  • Food and medications
  • Grooming fees

Check Your Property and Surroundings

If you are currently renting, it is likely that your landlord or property management company has a “pet policy.” If animals are allowed under this policy, there may be restrictions on which types of animals (cats, dogs, breeds, sizes) are allowed. There may be additional fees, such as animal deposits, as well.

Regardless of whether you rent or own your home, it is also important to gauge your surroundings for the safety and comfort of your new family member. Are you located near a busy (and potentially dangerous) street? Do you have a fenced-in area for potty time? If you’re thinking of getting an active pup, is there plenty of space for them to run and play?

Purchase Supplies

As noted above, some of the basics include food and bowls, a bed, a dog crate or cat carrier, and ID tags. You’ll want to have these on hand as soon as possible in order to minimize back-and-forth trips to the store during your companion’s first week in their new home.

Find a Veterinarian

Finding the right veterinarian is crucial for your animal friend’s overall health. It’s important to find someone you both will love. It’s also helpful if they’re located nearby. To find a vet who fits your needs, search the local veterinarian clinics in your area, take note of the services they offer, and read any available online reviews. It’s also a great idea to ask for recommendations from fellow animal adopters in your life.

Prepare Your Home

Make your home your animal’s home, too! Discard or thoroughly hide anything that may be hazardous to your new family member. Find a comfortable and practical location to set up their sleeping and feeding area. Also, consider setting up gates around any “off-limits” areas. Check out our previous post, Preparing Your Home for a New Animal Companion, for more tips on preparing your home for your new, furry bundle of joy.

Now you’re all set! Happy adopting!

Comments (1)

This is important advice. I foster for Animal Friends Alliance in Colorado and have fostered over 130 puppies, so I always recommend getting a good puppy book. Puppies are a full time job and there is a lot to consider, but if the whole family participates it is fun. My pup of 16 years just passed away and let me tell you – there is NOTHING like coming home to a fur baby!

Jan Brett