5 things to consider before adopting a furry friend

2019-04-30 13:11
Today marks National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. (PHOTO: Supplied)

Today marks National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. (PHOTO: Supplied)

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The value a pet brings to the family home is undeniable. In fact your life often doesn’t feel quite complete without an energetic bundle of fur licking your cheek when you arrive home, or a purr or head butt letting you know they’ve missed you. 

But the decision to adopt a pet shouldn’t be taken lightly, according to Marycke Ackhurst, pet behaviour expert at Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Today marks National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and as part of the celebration Hill’s Pet Care Centre wants to educate South Africans about the importance of visiting your local animal shelter, whether it’s to adopt, volunteer or make a donation. 

If you’re considering pet adoption, Ackhurst provides five tips for making your adoption a success:

Think it through carefully – It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of visiting a shelter and deciding to bring home the first adorable dog or cat you see. But having a pet is a major responsibility. Not only does it require time and money, it also entails dealing with any behavioural problems your pet might have.

Choosing the right pet for you and your family – While you or your kids might be eager for a new cuddly companion, choosing the right pet is a process that takes time, research and careful planning.

Know your limitations – It’s important to ask plenty of questions about the pet and any special needs it might have. Most shelters will do their best to make you aware of any additional needs the animal might require to determine if you’d be a good fit.

Bringing your new pet home – There’s nothing more secure and welcoming than a safe, cosy bed for your new furkid to climb into when it arrives home for the first time. Remember your pet’s first few nights with you will be strange as this is its first time be away from a familiar environment. It’s also a good idea to start teaching your pet the rules as soon as possible, such as what rooms it has access to, where it sleeps, and if it’s allowed on the furniture.

Feeding your new pet – When taking your new pet to the vet for its first check-up speak to the vet about the best food options. If you get new food for your pet it’s best to mix your pet’s current food with the new food and increase the amount gradually while decreasing the old food over at least seven days.  

Read more on:    pets
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