For some reason all kids want a pet… some want dogs others want cats and then you have the kids that love small animals like guinea pigs or if you are really unlucky snakes..
The fact is at some time in your home there will be a pet of some type and that can be a really great thing if you approach it from the right direction.
Pets can help your child understand that there is more to life then just them.. it will also hopefully teach them responsibility for taking care of or at least helping to meet the needs of your pet.
Buying a new pet at a store is reasonable but you should also keep in mind that there are many great animals of all types looking for homes.
Adopting a Pet
Adopting a pet can sometimes be more difficult then walking into a store and swiping your credit card. Often pet adoption agencies will want to do some type of an interview with you to find out if the pet you have selected will fit in at your home.
Most pets that are up for adoption are not breed to be pets. They are more likely pets that the owner can not take care of for many reasons. Owners may be moving to housing that does not allow pets but in this time you are likely to see a number of owners that can no longer care for a pet because they lost their job and can no longer afford the cost. That is a very sad situation.
If you plan to adopt then you should remember to ask if the pet will do well around children. You may find a dog or cat that has bonded with a previous owner with much love but when placed in a new home won’t react well.
You should make sure that you have a reasonable contract that will allow for the return of the animal if this is the case. If your children are exposed to a pet that bites out of fear or frustration it will mean dire consequences that no one wants to imaging but that you must prepare for until you are sure your new animal has become part of the family.
Get a Full History of your Prospective Adopted Pet
When you go to look for your new pet you should ask what home they come from.. most feral animals even if they are of the domesticated variety can not be placed in normal home settings and may require a new owner with a good sized property.
It is important that you ask if the pet was rescued from a troubled home, found as a stray or let go because of another stressful situation.
You should get a past and current medical history on your pet. Have they been checked for all of the possible genetic or other illnesses associated with their breed? You may even want to require the ability for your Veterinarian to look at the animal before you take ownership.
Many breeds of dog are prone to hip disorders and other problems that can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in medical bills. Although it may be reasonable to spend a good amount of money to keep your animal healthy and provide all that you can it is not reasonable that you are placed with a burden you can not manage.
What types of animals are available for Adoption?
Basically any type of animal you can imagine that is legally able to be owned can be looking for a new home.
Normally common pets like dogs and cats are most available but there are many adoption centers that specialize in small animals like rabbits, guinea pigs and if you have the permits and guts you may even find a Tiger or other exotic animal like a lizard.
Where can you find Adoption Centers?
Adoption centers are found all across the country. Many humane societies will have listings of animals they have for adoption online and they may also be able to connect you with a center that specializes in a pet you are looking for.
Expect to be placed on a waiting list if you are looking for a special animal but this is really not a bad thing because it will let your kids get use to the idea of having a pet and decide if it was just a passing wish or something they can dedicate themselves to for many years.
One place you may want to start other then your local humane society is