While adopting a shelter animal during the holidays can make for a meaningful gift, it’s important to be well prepared before you surprise your loved one, child, or even yourself with a dog or cat. If you’re prepping for an animal adoption and are a little lost on everything you need to know, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with all of our best tips and tricks for bringing home your new best friend this holiday season.
Are you ready for a new animal?
While this question may seem rhetorical, it’s important to make sure that you and your family are prepared for a pet and see them as a lifelong companion rather than an ordinary present. Puppies and kittens will grow up and, at times, be mischievous or “naughty,” and adult animals have unique needs that need to be fulfilled. Ensure that you’re well-prepared for the responsibility of a new pet and try to anticipate their needs the best you can before bringing them home. This includes lining up a veterinarian for them.
Make sure your wants and needs align
Are you active and want a pet that matches your energy? Or would you prefer an animal who is a little more lowkey? Identifying where you and your future pet’s needs align is an important decision in the adoption process.
You should also evaluate your current responsibilities, especially if you’re considering bringing home a puppy or kitten. Do you have the free time to dedicate to a younger animal? Or would an older, more independent one be better for you? Make sure that you do keep in mind the fact that some older animals need specific health care or regular medicine.
It’s also important to be informed about breed requirements. Some breeds require lots of attention and exercise, while others are content with a little bit of fetch everyday. Do you research and ensure that you and your new best friend can live comfortably together.
Get your supplies ready
Before bringing your new pet home from the shelter, take a trip to your local pet store to pick out some essentials. Need some more guidance? Here’s a list of some necessities that we think your future pet will love!
- Food appropriate for their age
- Treats (our favorites are made by Bocce’s)
- A bed
- Leashes (if applicable)
- A collar
- A litter box and scoop (if applicable)
- A flea and tick preventative
- Dental supplements (Ark Naturals has a dental chew for every pup)
- A cat tree and/or scratching post (if applicable)
It’s also important to have insurance lined up for your new pet. Our favorite is Doggo, a simple and honest pet insurance company that not only covers accidents and illnesses, but also advanced care and 1-on-1 training. Fetch a quote here.
Bringing your new pet home
While it might seem magical to have your new cat or dog waiting under the tree on Christmas morning, we actually recommend involving your entire household in the adoption process instead. Get creative with how you tell your family that you’ll be getting a new pet, and try to make sure that they’re with you every step of the way — from meeting your new best friend at the shelter to finally bringing them home.
Giving back to your local shelter
And if you’ve found that maybe a new animal isn’t in the cards for you this holiday season, there’s still several ways to give back to your local shelter. Consider making a donation in either your name or the name of the person you’d like to give a gift to, or even spend some time volunteering. Many shelters also are seeking donations around this time of year, making it the perfect opportunity to give back.