Tips for Adopting a Pet for the First Time

Precise figures for the number of animals abandoned in the UK each year are hard to come by but in 2017 the RSPCA found new homes for more than 44,600 animals, so given that the RSPCA is just one of a number of animal re-homing charities, it gives you an idea of the scale of the problem.

There is no shortage of abandoned pets in need of a home and choosing to adopt an abandoned pet is a way in which we can all do our bit to help alleviate a continuing national problem.  Although dogs and cats are the most popular choices you can also adopt rabbits, rodents, reptiles, birds, fish, poultry and even horses.

Whatever animal you choose to adopt, you need to give it a little forethought and a little planning, remember, you may not have a full history for your new pet and you won’t always know what trauma or illness your pet has endured. So, here are some suggestions for things you ought to consider.

Bonding

Make sure that you’re going to be able to spend time with your new pet so that you can get to know one another.  It won’t do to bring a frightened, disorientated animal into a new environment and then rush off to work and leave it alone for eight hours.  Maybe you’ll need to take a few days off work so that you can spend time settling your new pet into its new home, that way it will become comfortable and trusting much sooner.

Vaccinations

Your pet might have spent time living on the street at some point so make sure that it’s had all the necessary vaccinations and isn’t carrying any diseases.

Insurance

In order to make sure that your pet will always be taken care of, no matter what happens, you should take out pet insurance.  Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive available and will cover you for things like medical care, the cost of kennels or cattery if you are unable to look after your pet for a period of time and third-party cover should your pet harm another person or their property.  Interestingly, cats are legally regarded as ‘free spirits’ and consequently you won’t be liable for their actions.

Prepare your home

Depending on the kind of animal that you’re bringing into your home, you’re going to need to make sure that you’ve removed dangerous or precious objects and that your pet has its own safe place with plenty of toys.

Microchipping

The rescue centre will be able to tell you if your pet is microchipped, they may even have done it for you.  Microchipping an animal is the best way to ensure that if they go missing they can quickly be identified and it’s a legal requirement for all dogs in the UK.  The microchip is inserted by a vet in a simple, painless, procedure.  It’s important that once your pet is microchipped, you update your details when necessary.  This can be done online, by telephone or by post.

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