Adopt A Pet Search

How to Adopt A Pet - Search For The Perfect Pet For You

If you are wondering how to find the perfect pet for you – this page will start you down the right path.

Adopt a Pet Search - Step 1

The first thing you need to do is to decide what type of pet is best for you. Do you want a dog, a cat, a fish, a bird, a small pet (like a gerbil or hamster)?

Once you decide on the type of pet you need to decide on the breed of that pet. This may take some time. It is important that you take your time in figuring out what pet you want. After all, bringing a pet home is like adding a new member to your family. A pets lifespan varies, some live decades, so you really should get it right. Take your time reading up each breed of pet.

  • If you want a cat, check out our Cat Breed List to see all the different types of cats and their personalities.
  • If you want a dog, check out the Types of Dog Breeds to get familiar with the different personalities of dogs.
  • If you want a small pet, check out our Small Pets section for information

Once you have figured out if you want a dog, cat, or small pet, come back here to get tips on how to conduct your adopt a pet search.

Adopt a Pet Search - Note

Remember: I urge you to “get it right” when picking the type of pet. This is because too many pets end up in shelters. Many shelter pets are euthanized because there are simply too many. So take your time, consider your lifestyle and match a pet’s personality to your lifestyle. Get a short list of pet’s that you think you are interested in and evaluate each carefully by seeing each one personally, talking with shelter workers, talking with breeders, breed specific rescues, reading books, and gathering as much information as you can to b sure that you get the best pet for you.

If you go to a shelter, which I strongly encourage, you may not know what breed the pet is. That’s okay; just remember not to make a quick decision on the first cute pet you see. That cute dog may be a mix of breeds that are too energetic for you, or too big, or not big enough …I think you get the point. Spend some time learning about the shelter pet’s history if you can. And observe its personality. You should be allowed to interact with it (some shelters don’t allow that – which I strongly disagree with).

Now That You Know the Type of Pet – Here’s How to Conduct Your Adopt a Pet Search [Step 2]

You should look for a pet from many different sources including: Rescues, Shelters, Breeders, and Pet Stores

  • Rescues - Rescues are a fantastic place to conduct your search for the best pet for you. Pets in good rescues will have had veterinary check ups and will be in good health and of a good temperament before they are adopted out. The rescue will screen you to make sure that you are a good match for the pet. This protects you and the pet.

  • Shelters - Local Animal Shelters are another great place to find a great pet. I had a dog from a shelter that became a fantastic member of my family for 16 years. I currently have a cat that is from a shelter and he is fantastic. I strongly encourage saving a pet’s life by adopting from an animal shelter. They will usually only adopt out healthy dogs with good temperaments. And the costs are nominal.

  • Breeder - If you decide that you want to buy a specific breed then I recommend a breed specific rescue or that you go a reputable breeder. Don’t buy from a backyard or fly by night breeder (someone with little to no experience and just decides that their pet deserves to be bred). There is quite a bit of knowledge about health and genetics that goes into breeding well and buying from a breeder that doesn’t follow the guidelines of its kennel club can lead to trouble. Meet with several breeders and buy from the one that is the most professional, helpful and caring.

  • Pet store - Buying from a pet store is not my favourite choice. One of the biggest reasons is that it is strictly an impulse buy with little or no thought given to the suitability of the pet. There are reports suggesting that pet stores buy their pets from puppy or kitten mills which are not healthy places to raise a pet. When you buy from a pet store you have no idea what the temperament of the pet is, no one will screen you to make sure you are a good match for the pet, and you’ll probably pay a lot of money. A rescue or reputable breeder will be there to support you if you need help later on with training or other issues.

  • Pet ClassifiedsIf you search your local classifieds you might just find someone who has to give up a wonderful pet for reasons beyond their control. In general, I only recommend this route if the person is able to show you veterinary health records, is not asking for a lot of money, and they give you an opportunity to meet and interact with the pet. You should be wary of mills and less than reputable breeders looking to turn a quick profit.

  • Online - You can look online to buy a pet. But why not buy locally? It is best to visit the rescue, shelter or breeder personally to see how the pet was raised and cared for. If you buy online and never meet the seller and visit the sellers premises, how can you be certain you are buying from a quality and reputable source? The odds are good that you will support a puppy mill if you buy online. So do some research online to narrow your choices down, but please buy locally!

I think you see that I recommend shelters and rescues as the best place to start in your adopt a pet search. Adopting a pet is a fantastic and rewarding experience. I recommend adoption over purchase.

The biggest piece of advice I hope that you get from this page is to take your time and consider many different options. Consider the options for the type of pet and the options for where to adopt or buy.

Adopt a Pet Search - Step 3

Adopt a Pet that you will love forever and bring it home!

There are lots more pages like this.

Leave Adopt a Pet Search and Go to Adopt a Pet You Will Love home for more links to articles and pet adoption tips.