Selecting Your Pet

Bringing a Dog or Cat Into Your Family?


Photo courtesy Barb Blackman

Photo courtesy B. Blackman


How will you select your new pet and where will you find it?  How do you choose the  RIGHT pet?  Puppy? Senior?  Longhair?  Shorthair?Hound? Bully breed? Active? Docile?  Lap Dog?  Running mate?

Lots to consider before bringing your new four legged family member home.




How you choose and where you get it COULD make the difference between life and death for your pet!  Before you embark on your journey to find your four legged family remember, realize that just like people, each dog or cat is an individual with unique traits and needs.  Recognizing this will help you start your search.

There is certainly no shortage from which to choose!

More than looks!

photo-1466921583968-f07aa80c526e  photo-1444005233317-7fb24f0da789

Many pet seeking individuals don’t spend enough time recognizing that their selection could be a decision that could affect whether the pet becomes a forever member of the family, or possibly is being set up for failure to end up bounced around from home to home or even surrendered to a kill shelter.  In short, their fate is in YOUR hands and it often starts with your simple selection.

First question is do you have time for a pet and what is your motivation?  Can you provide it with the love and care emotionally and financially?  Does everyone in the family sign on to bringing a pet into the home?

If for some reason you could no longer take care of the pet, what provisions will you make to ensure its safety?

Once these questions are answered how do you choose your pet?   Like so many things we choose, we often are predominantly influenced by the way a pet looks … large or small, white or black, spotted or solid or maybe brindle.  Long snout or squishy face?  Do you prefer a pure bred or mixed breed and why?  Short hair or long hair?  While looks and outward attributes may influence your decision, taking the time to educate yourself about the individual dog you are considering is vital to ensure the RIGHT match for both of you.

Another consideration is the age.  Puppies and kittens are cute as can be!  But are you willing to deal with the chewing, bathroom training needs, etc?  Are you ok with a lifetime commitment for the likely life span of the pet?   On the other hand, seniors are less active and more settled and you can assess their established temperament, but may have more medical needs.

Where will you get your new pet?  With the major overpopulation of available pets of all ages, mixed breeds, and purebreds in rescue situations, we hope adopting/rescuing will be your first choice!  Sometimes people want a puppy and have a specific breed in mind.  If that’s your situation and you want to purchase one outside of the rescue network, WHERE and HOW you purchase your pup should be carefully researched.  Online sales or pet stores that sell pets are known to sell puppy mill dogs (see our section on puppy mills for more details), so finding a reputable breeder should be carefully researched.  Some helpful guidelines are available via this online book Fetching Fido

Taking the time to find the pet that best suits our lifestyle and needs goes a long way to determining whether many of these pets will in fact one day become part of the shelter & rescue system.

It matters.  Learn more to make smart choices.

We have tossed out many questions!  Now explore our site including our Get PetUcated section and other resources to find the answers for your home, your family, but also for your future pet!


Are You Ready? Is It the Right Time?


Leave a Reply