The holidays are a popular time for people to become pet parents and bring home a furry friend to become part of their family. Before doing so, it’s important to do some research and be patient. Find out what type of companion animal is most suited for your family and lifestyle. You will likely find your fit. For instance, large dog breeds can be loyal protectors such as Huskies and German Shepherds but they may require more exercise with longer walks and should not be left alone with small children. Some smaller dogs may have special needs and not do well left alone for many hours as they can crave attention and companionship.
There are many lovely cats sitting in shelters that can make wonderful additions to families. In some ways it can be easier to care for cats as they don’t need walks and can be left alone longer, but they can scratch furniture and might not get along with other pets. As well, rabbits can make great companions; they are easy to care for and sleep during the day so you can get work done. They can form bonds with their human guardians but they have special needs. For instance, a rabbit goes to an exotic vet.
Most of the time, regardless of the breed or type of animal you find, you will likely fall in love with your next furry friend. Contact your local shelter or SPCA or rescue to find available animals. People go to breeders looking for specific breeds. Did you know there are rescues for certain breeds? If you have your heart set on a specific breed, there is likely a rescue that has that kind of animal. As well, there are small breed rescues and rescues that take in different types of animals in their care.
There are so many benefits to adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue and here are a few reasons:
- Many shelters and rescue animals are house trained and they do not need to be house trained as rescues, volunteers, or foster family have been working with that animal to train them.
- Taking an animal out of a shelter makes room for other animals. Shelters have capacity limits so they cannot have more than a certain number of animals at one time. Rescues are privately run and saving an animal from their organization allows them to take in more animals.
- Many shelters and rescues are private charities and they do not receive funding from the government so they rely on donations and people to adopt animals in their care.
- Puppies need to be trained. Taking care of a puppy can be time consuming and bring unexpected behaviours that a shelter dog or cat may have a handle on.
- Save your money: the cost of a puppy from a puppy mill or breeder can range from $1000 – $5000 whereas the average cost of adoption can range from $25 to $500.
- Adopting from a shelter or rescue instead of buying from a breeder helps reduce companion animal overpopulation and euthanasia.
Lastly, adoption is a serious and lifelong commitment for the rest of that animal’s life. It is likely one of the most rewarding experiences and can enrich both of your lives. “Adopt don’t shop” this holiday season and encourage others to adopt from shelters and rescues rather than breeders and puppy mills to save a life!