The holiday season is a great time to take care of reduced adoption fees at local shelters and rescues to bring a new pet into your home. However, because these animals have usually been abandoned by previous owners or lived a majority of their life at a shelter, take time to choose the best pet for your household, lifestyle, and budget. You don’t want to adopt a new pet and promise to provide it will a life of love and care only to have to turn around and bring it back because things did not work out as you had hoped. Vet care for cats and dogs is an essential part of pet ownership. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth can help you start a new pet relationship off on the right foot with a complete veterinary check-up and tips for proper nutrition, exercise, and care. We are also an emergency veterinary hospital, which is good to know in the event of any urgent care requirements for your new pet.
What’s the Right Pet for You?
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Most people have an idea of which way they lean, but you don’t know until you’ve lived with a pet in your home. Dogs and cats are quite different but have similar needs. What about the age of the pet? Everyone things puppies and kittens, but there are adult and senior pets at the shelters too that can make excellent additions to your household. The fact that they are already litter box trained or housebroken doesn’t hurt either, which means less training time for you.
Once you narrow down your choices, you can start focusing on breeds. Some breeds of cats and dogs require more care, attention, and veterinary support throughout their lifetime. For many pet owners, a mixed breed is an attractive choice as long as they have the personality and temperament that suits their lifestyle. Do you want a dog that loves to go for long walks each evening and hikes on the weekend? Or would you prefer a couch potato that wants to hang out with you and binge watch your favorite program? Cats can have different personalities as well, so it’s important to take advantage of opportunities that allow you to get to spend time with them and learn more about their preferences.
Go to the Shelter
Big adoption events can be chaotic, especially if a lot of people show up to take advantage of lower fees during the holidays. If you can get to the shelter on a non-event weekend and take time to get to know some of the pets there that fit your criteria, it will be a lot easier to make a smart choice. If you are looking for a specific breed, age, activity level or personality, it will be easier to spot when the numbers of people are significantly reduced. New England has a considerable volume of pets available for adoption throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the surrounding states. You are sure to find the right pet when you take the time to do some research and avoid impulse adoptions.
While the shelter will give you details on vaccinations, veterinary check-up histories and let you know if the pet has been spayed or neutered, you will still want to bring your new pet to our animal hospital in Dartmouth. Vet care for cats and dogs requires a solid baseline that we can use to determine their ongoing health and requirements. Pets that are overweight, underweight, or have certain medical conditions will need attention right away. However, even pets that seem healthy might require support as well. Treatment for things like fleas and ticks, as well as other preventive measures, can help you and your new pet to start on the right foot – or paw.
Smart Pet Gifting Tips
If you are adopting a new pet to be a surprise for children or other family members, make sure to take time to do it right. While that classic Christmas image of a puppy with a big red bow waiting under the tree seems perfect, it is notoriously difficult to pull off unless you are an expert trainer. Rather than put the pet in a box, wrap up all of the supplies needed to care for the pet, such as a collar, water bowl, treats, or toys, and have your family open those before you introduce the new pet.
If you have small children, do everything you can to make a good first impression by telling them about the cat or dog first so they can get their excitement out a little before seeing the new pet. You don’t want to scare the pet with all of the jumping up and down and screaming, which could start a new relationship on shaky ground. Explain this to children who are old enough to understand and help them learn how to be good pet owners from day one.
Schedule a Veterinary Check-up in Dartmouth
Before you bring your new pet home to introduce him or her to the family, schedule a veterinary check-up at our animal hospital in Dartmouth. This is especially important if you have other pets in the home, to make sure that there are no health concerns that could pose a problem. Fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and other diseases can be transferred to other pets and, in some cases, to people. It’s better to ensure the best vet care for cats and dogs while protecting pets and people in your home at the same time. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 508-993-3731.