Things to Consider Before You Adopt

So you are thinking about adopting a new friend. To help in your decision to adopt, please read the tips below.

Do you have enough time to devote to your new pet? Pets need daily interaction, training, and exercise.  A securely fenced yard is preferred, but is not a substitute for interacting with your pet. Dogs need at least 1-2 walks every day even when it is icy or very hot outside.

If you live in an apartment or rent a house, check the rules for pet ownership. Many apartments have size limitations or breed-related restrictions. You may also be required to pay an additional deposit and increase your monthly rent.

If you work long hours, who will care for your pet during the day? A pet left alone for long hours may not adjust well.  Research doggie day cares or pet walkers in your area to help.

How active are you? Your pet’s activity level should match your lifestyle.

Have you considered the medical costs of owning a dog or cat? Dogs and cats adopted from Southside SPCA are already spayed/neutered, have received immunizations as well as feline leukemia/feline HIV screening for cats and heartworm screening for dogs. Heartworms are prevalent in Virginia. The Southside SPCA treats all dogs with preventive and adopters should keep them on monthly preventive and have annual screenings.

Adopters are responsible for keeping their dogs vaccinated against rabies as well as licensing their pet in their municipality. In addition, most counties have limits on the number of pets per household/leash laws/tethering laws/noise ordinances to consider.

Where will your dog spend most of its time?  Do you have enough time to have a dog?

Dogs should not be chained or tied outside.  A dog kept chained in one spot for a prolonged period of time suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, can become anxious and often aggressive. Dogs on a chain make easy targets for other animals, humans, and biting insects.

Dogs are social animals, and love interaction with humans. Make sure that you can give your dog sufficient care and that you have enough time to walk and play with your dog.  Animals should be kept inside, supervised outside in a fenced yard or on a leash at all times.

Where will your cat spend most of its time? Most U.S. cat experts and humane organizations are continually trying to reach the public with the message that keeping cats indoors protects them from disease and all manner of dangers. Risks of outdoor life include exposure to infectious diseases, such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline infectious peritonitis, and rabies; injury or death occurring on busy roads; and attacks by predators. Not only does keeping cats indoors protect their health, it also protects the lives of countless birds that often fall prey to cats. In fact, cats and other predators have severely reduced the populations of certain songbirds – almost to the point of extinction. In addition to these benefits, people who keep their cats indoors say they have deeper and more satisfying relationships with their cats.