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Check List For New Adopters

Check List For New Adopters

Opening your heart and home to a new member of the family can be such a big and exciting step, HOWEVER, it requires commitment and sacrifice. For those of us whose lives simply wouldn’t be the same without a pet, we raise our sparkling water bowls to you. For those who are contemplating adopting an animal or rescuers who have an animal to adopt; the process can be quite long and have a lot of back and forth.

In order to protect the welfare of the animal and to put his or her best interests first, we have complied a checklist to follow. The last thing anyone wants is for a homeless animal to be brought back to the rescuer or shelter. Here’s what to expect during the adoption process;



  • Do you have any other pets and how will they react to a new animal? You must understand both/all temperaments to know if they will get along.
  • Is your current residence suited to the animal you’re considering? Are you renting? Is your apartment pet friendly ? Will you have to move and leave the animal behind in the future?
  • How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for an animal? Would you be there to see to the animals needs?
  • Do you have a plan for your new pet during vacations and/or work travel?
  • How do the people you live with feel about having a pet in or around the house?
  • Are you (or your spouse, partner or roommate) intolerant of hair, dirt and other realities of sharing your home with a pet, such as allergies?
  • Do you or any of your household/family members have health issues that may be affected by a pet?
  • What breed is the best fit with your current lifestyle?
  • Is there tension in the home? Pets quickly pick up on stress in the home, and it can exacerbate their health and behavior problems.
  • Is there an adult in the family who has agreed to be ultimately responsible for the pet’s care?
  • Are you financially capable of taking care of a pet?
  • What would you do if this pet required medical attention and potentially expensive surgery?
  • Describe your home and yard.
  • Are there children in your home? How many and what are their ages? Do they love pets?
  • Is your yard fenced?
  • Is the neighbourhood pet friendly? How busy is the street?
  • Which vet do you use or can vouch for your character?



  • If you are thinking of adopting a young pet, do you have the time and patience to work with the pet through its adolescence, taking playing, training and energy-level into account?
  • Have you considered your lifestyle carefully and determined whether a younger or older pet would be a better match for you?
  • Can you train and handle a pet with behavior issues or are you looking for an easy-going friend?
  • Do you need a pet who will be reliable with children or one you can take with you when you travel?
  • Do you want a pet who follows you all around the house or would you prefer a less clingy, more independent character?
  • What do you expect your pet to contribute to your life?
  • Do you want a pet who has been spayed, neutered or vaccinated already.
  • Do you want a pet to be indoor, outdoor or both?
  • Do you have the necessary funding to take care of this pet including food and vet care?
  • Find out the history of the pet, vet records etc
  • Find out the requirements for adoption from rescuers about a specific pet.
  • Find out what the pet will be arriving with, litter, carrier , food etc. and what will you need to purchase on that day.




  • Animals need to be fed once to twice a day, more often in the case of kittens/puppies, and need a constant supply of fresh water.
  • A responsible pet parent should spend at least one hour per day giving direct attention to his or her pet. This may include training, exercising, grooming, and playing or may just be lap time on the couch.
  • A pet with an abundance of energy needs more time to exercise and interactive toys to keep them entertained.
  • Pets with long coats need 20 minutes a day of grooming to prevent matting.
  • Pets with certain medical conditions may need additional attention, including specifically timed injections in the case of diabetic animals.
  • Remember that adopted pets may need additional bonding and reassurance time in the early weeks.
  • If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Pets require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two pets can provide this for each other.
  • Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption.
  • Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a pet before it comes home.
  • Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a pet.
  • Stock up on supplies before the pet arrives.
  • Pet-proof your home.
  • Go slowly when introducing your pet to new friends and family.
  • Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list.
  • If you’re considering giving a pet as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process. Though well-meaning, the surprise pet gift doesn’t allow for a “get-to know-one-another” period. Remember, adopting a pet isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.
  • Cats especially should be kept indoors in a safe room for the first few days due to their history of running away from their new homes as it is a strange environment.


Necessary Items for Cats:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Food (canned and/or dry)
  • Litter box and scooper
  • Kitty litter
  • Collar
  • ID tag with your phone number
  • Hard plastic carrier
  • Nail clippers
  • Brush or comb (depends on your cat’s coat length and type)
  • Super-absorbent paper towels
  • Sponge and scrub brush
  • Non-toxic cleansers
  • Variety of toys (toys including catnip are a favorite)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Treats
  • Pet Wipes


Necessary Items for Dogs:

    • Food and water bowls
    • Food (canned and/or dry)
    • Collar
    • Four to six-foot leash
    • ID tag with your phone number
    • Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
    • Dog bed
    • Doggy shampoo
    • Nail clippers
    • Brush or comb (depends on your dog’s coat length and type)
    • Super-absorbent paper towels
    • Sponge and scrub brush
    • Non-toxic cleanser
    • Pooper scooper
    • Absorbent house-training pads
    • Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
    • Variety of treats (such as small biscuits, larger rawhides, etc.)
    • First-aid supplies
    • Baby gate(s)
    • Pet Wipes
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