Pet Adoption During Covid Times
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Pet Adoption During Covid Times: Key Things to Keep In Mind Before Bringing a Pet Home
Adopting a pet is no easy task and involves a lot of knowledge as well as preparation. The COVID-19 pandemic saw an abrupt increase, and then sadly, a decrease in pets being adopted. Pets need forever homes, and unfortunately due to the pandemic slowing, people who adopted pets from shelters have started returning them.
Across the United States, owners bringing pets back to shelters due to moving back to the office have increased by more than 80%, harsh reality. Owners need to understand that being responsible when bringing a new pet into the home is of utmost importance.
In the same token, though some people have gone back, there are plenty of other people that find themselves still furloughed or without a job or working on a more permanent basis from home. Spending more time within the home can find people longing for the companionship and comfort that a pet will bring.
The Benefits of Pet Adoption
It is no surprise that pets can bring many benefits to us as owners, some even attributing to our physical health. For instance, pets can help reduce anxiety, stress, lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, and ease feelings of depression and loneliness.
Other benefits of adopting a pet include providing the animal with a second chance that they so desperately deserve. Many pets in shelters were rescued from traumatic or terrible situations, including neglect, cruelty, or abandonment. Shelters and clinics work very hard to improve the pet’s health and find them a new home where they will be cared for properly.
You will also save money by adopting, since many locations where you can adopt often will spay or neuter, vaccinate and even microchip the animals to prepare them. Not having to pay for all of those procedures out of your own pocket is a nice perk to adopting your pet. It also takes measures to bring down puppy mills or farms, where illegal breeding for profit takes place.
What to Consider Before Adopting
It is crucial to take time and explore the pros and cons of adopting. The Bond Vet Clinic out of New York City states that many pet owners don’t always consider all facets before adopting. Because of this, it leads pet owners to return, which occurs even with simple plans such as where the owner lives and if it is conducive to acquiring a new pet, such as a condo or apartment building, where outside time is more limited.
The senior vet at the clinic suggests that people interested to adopt and the adoption centers should consider going through some important questions considering the adoption, such as:
- Do I or others within the household have the time to take in and train a new pet?
- Do I have the space to welcome a new pet where it can have an area of its own?
- Do I have options for pet care in case I have to be away from home?
- Are there other pets within the home or neighborhood that need to be introduced?
These questions are just to get you started. More questions will come up as you determine how you plan to incorporate bringing a new pet home, and you should consider each one carefully.
Compatibility With Your Pet
One of the more important questions you’ll have to explore is what type of pet you are looking for when adopting. You should research and decide what kind of breed will suit you best in terms of temperament, outside time, and more.
You should ask the shelter for as much information regarding your chosen breed or interest so that they can provide you with things to help you make the right decision, and these may include:
- The pet’s prior environment (poor care, cruelty, abandonment, etc.);
- Behaviors such as the pet being more prone to separation anxiety, or in need of a firm hand when training, or if the animal can become destructive;
- Food needs or any allergies to be aware of;
- If the pet can coexist with other animals well;
- How often the pet may need exercise (walks, bathroom, etc.)
It helps if you have a list of questions to bring to the location when looking for your new pet to gather a clear picture of what is to come. You should also keep an open mind because maybe you have your heart set on a specific breed you think will be perfect. Still, you may find yourself falling in love with another needy pet while browsing - find out all that you can about that particular pet because it may be just what you were looking for!
Time is Vital
The most crucial part of adopting that you should be well aware of for yourself in advance is: Does my daily routine allow me to take care of a new pet? - This is an essential aspect that you need to evaluate. Pets are a full-time and lifetime commitment. Even working from home, there may be things that keep you from giving your pet the necessary time it needs for adjustment and transitioning into the new environment of your home.
If you do work from home but have the possibility of returning to an office or location once the pandemic has lifted fully, you need to consider this when adopting a pet. You may have the time now to help it become well adjusted, but what happens when you have to leave for hours at a time? Certain pets may not handle it well or become very confused and lonely. You might consider hiring a pet sitter or to check-in, take it for a walk or otherwise ensure your pet is okay a couple of times throughout the day if at all possible.
Pets need routines, and having a pet can help you stick with solid daily habits or even allow you to get more exercise and get outdoors for fresh air periodically. In addition, you can make a significant impact in the lives of pets through adoption, or - if adoption is not in the cards for you - by fostering and assisting those pets in need of comfort and care, even temporarily.
The Adoption Process Has Changed
Many locations are closed due to the pandemic or have limited availability than before. You may have to do a virtual “meet and greet” to check out a particular pet that you are interested in before being allowed to attend an in-person meeting. Make sure to inquire as to the policies surrounding the pandemic within your local area.
In general, it is a good idea to make an appointment ahead of time or cancel one if you’re feeling sick. Social distancing is still in place for many locations, and you might also need to wear a mask to protect all of the employees and volunteer staff. After determining the pet you would like, make sure to have your forms of identification and scout out a local veterinarian that you can bring your pet to once it is released to your care.
It is wise to be aware and take in all of the factors before choosing to adopt so that you can avoid the possibility of having to return the pet when it doesn’t work out. If money is a concern, many shelters offer free adoption to help ease the strain of those struggling economically due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most importantly - do your research and be as prepared as possible before adopting so that you are positive is it the best decision moving forward. You will be so happy to bring your new companion into your home.