2. How old is the pet?
Puppies and kittens are adorable, but they may require more training and supervision than older pets. If you don’t have the time or patience to house-train a puppy, or correct issues like chewing or scratching, it makes better sense to consider adopting an older animal.
3. Do you know the dog’s history?
Although shelters may not know a detailed history of all their pets, they generally have an idea of where the animal was or what their life was like before they came to the shelter. These factors can help inform you if the pet has any possible behavioural issues that could determine whether the pet is the right fit for you. But if there is no information, don’t stress, just spend some time getting to know them.
4. Can I spend one-on-one time with the pet?
Pet shelters will often allow prospective owners to go on walks with the pet or spend some time one-on-one, but if this isn’t offered you should request it. Playing games and spending time with the pet will give you a great idea of its personality and whether this suits your lifestyle. For example, is the pet shy or skittish, or is it very active? If the animal will be around children, it is also a good idea to discuss this with the shelter and perhaps introduce the pet to your children before making any decisions.
5. Do they have medical issues?
Often when pets are up for adoption they have had all the necessary vaccinations and a vet assessment. But it is incredibly useful to ask for information about whether they have had reactions to vaccines or if they need to take medications on a regular basis. It is also helpful to find out if they have any long-term or progressive health issues you need to keep an eye on in the future.