What to consider when adopting or fostering a pet during the pandemic

Select the right pet for your needs.

Be realistic about what you can offer an animal, as well as what you want or need from it. If you have a job that keeps you extremely busy, a high-maintenance pet like a dog that requires a lot of attention may not be ideal. Similarly, if you don’t have a large home, stick to smaller animals like cats. You also want to consider the other inhabitants of your home. If you have other pets or small children, you need to ensure that any newcomers will get along with them.

Find a veterinarian in advance.

When considering pet insurance, you also want to ensure that your veterinarian of choice accepts the insurance you select. Make sure any animal healthcare professional you choose has graduated from a program that is accredited by the AVMA, American Veterinary Medical Association.

Set up your support network.

In addition to a veterinarian, you will need help from some other professionals to care for and maintain your future pet. If you go out of town, for example, you need a friend, family member, or neighbor to feed and watch over the animal. Alternatively, you can find a professional pet sitter in your area online. If you have a dog but are too busy to walk them regularly, you may also want to look up pro dog walkers in your area to take this task off your hands. The AVMA stresses the importance of walking your dog, which promotes a healthy weight.

Get the necessary pet supplies.

With your pet care network set up, you can go ahead and start buying the supplies you’ll need to maintain a happy and healthy animal. Before you bring a dog home, make sure you have food and water bowls, a collar and leash, a crate, a dog bed, and toys. Consult your veterinarian about what treats, foods, and grooming products they recommend for the type of dog you are getting.

Set up your pet’s new home.

When animals enter a new space, they are bombarded by new sights, sounds, and smells. Keep in mind that animals have even more finely tuned senses than humans, so a new house can be truly overwhelming. To ease the transition, start your pet off in just one room of the house or apartment. Put their essentials, including food and water, in the room and shut the door.

Be patient as your new pet adjusts to its new life.

Don’t rush your new pet as they adapt to their strange surroundings. Give them time to adjust and gain your trust. Above all, keep them supported with your patience, the right pet supplies, and sufficient help when needed. Before long, you will soon have a loving and loyal friend by your side — not just in the pandemic, but always.

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