Talking With Pet Doctors

3 Essential Steps Before Adopting A New Pet

by Christy Adams

Has your child been begging you for a kitten or a puppy of their very own? Have you finally relented but this will be your first pet so you're not sure what needs to be done? Whether your child will have most of the pet care responsibilities or that will be something you do, owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Even so, too many people rush out to adopt a pet without first finding out how to care for it properly. While some pet care may be obvious, other steps may be less so. Some things that should definitely be done before adopting a new pet include:

Get a veterinarian: Some less-than-scrupulous adoption centers will knowingly adopt out puppies and kittens that are sick. Even if they don't do it knowingly, your new pet could've picked up something while waiting for adoption. Before you bring your new pet into your home, you should take It to a veterinarian to get a checkup. Assuming that he or she gets a clean bill of health, you can then get a full round of pet vaccinations to prevent potentially lethal diseases like distemper. Without proper pet vaccinations, your puppy or kitten could be healthy and happy one day but at death's door the next.

Buy limited toys: When you go shopping for pet supplies, it can be tempting to buy everything in an effort to make your new furry friend happy. But not all dogs like fetching sticks and not all cats enjoy laser pointers or dangly toys. Before you buy out the store, it's a good idea to start with just a few select and inexpensive toys. Once you and your child have discovered the true personality of the pet you've adopted, you can then move on to more expensive toys if you so desire.

Read a book: As useful as the internet is, it can be difficult to find specific information presented in an easy-to-understand format. From pet vaccinations to bathing to feeding schedules and more, your local library or bookstore should have multiple books that will help you and your child learn all about how to take care of the pet that you're adopting. While you can't know every single thing before you bring a pet home, the more you educate yourself on the topic the happier and healthier your pet and your family as a whole is likely to be.