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Welcoming a new pet: mindful adoption

Have you already started stocking up on toys and brainstorming names for the pet you want to adopt? Once you’re ready for the arrival of your furry friend, it is time to begin the search.

Looking for a new cat or dog is exciting. But before you start dreaming of long walks and playing fetch, it’s important to research the right breed for your lifestyle. It is also essential to adopt your new pet from the right place. To help you out, here are a few tips for the best places and those to avoid.

The best places to find your new pet

Local pet shelter

Adopting from a pet shelter means you’re saving a homeless animal and giving them a loving forever home. Typically, you don’t need to worry about expensive upfront medical costs, as they often come with recent check-ups, vaccines, deworming, and are either spayed or neutered.

Another huge perk is the wide selection of ages – everything from kittens and puppies to senior pets. Older animals are a fantastic choice, as they have a more developed personality and needs. Shelter staff can give you better insight into what to expect.

If you have your heart set on a specific type of animal, you may need to visit frequently, either in person or on their website, as the selection of potential adoptees can change daily.

Top tip

Shelters often require an interview to ensure you and your future fur baby are the right fit.

Private or charitable rescue organizations

Private rescues are everywhere and often specialize in specific breeds, like greyhounds. You’ll need to do some research to find the type of rescue organizations in your city and examine their reputation.

Most focus on an animal category, such as seniors, sporting dogs, retired racers, breed, size, special needs animals, or puppy mill rescues.

The animals at these organizations typically have some training and medical care, but you’ll need to confirm the specifics before adoption. In some instances, they may also come with a few issues related to where they came from and may require extra care.

Top tip

Private and charitable organizations can often request a home visit to ensure the right fit.

Responsible breeder

Do you have your heart set on a specific breed like an adorable golden retriever or poodle? If so, you can opt for a responsible breeder that focuses on that particular breed.

Finding the right breeder will take some research, as you don’t want to support a puppy or kitten mill. To prevent this, look for AKC, CKC, CCA, or CFA-registered breeders, as they need to maintain high standards in animal care, breeding and genetics to keep their registration.

Once you’ve selected a breeder, visit the kennel – but don’t just focus on the pet you want to adopt. It’s important to visit the mother and even the sire. Seeing the parents will give you a better insight into any medical history, energy levels and personality you might expect.

Places to avoid when looking for a new pet

Online stores

Avoid stores that ship pets from another location as this is dangerous for the animal.

Backyard breeders or puppy mills

You’ll want to adopt from a reputable source instead of supporting companies that provide inadequate care to their animals, such as horrible living conditions.

Online classifieds

Be cautious when responding to classified pet ads to ensure you’re not inadvertently dealing with a backyard breeder, puppy mill or dealer in stolen animals. Check out their reputation, then arrange to meet the animal in person.

When visiting, keep safety in mind by bringing someone with you. Instead of carrying cash, make the payment via electronic transfer.

Found your new pet? What's next?

When adding a pet to your family, you’ll want to be ready for unexpected medical expenses with CAA’s Pet Insurance provider, Pets Plus Us. CAA Members save 12%, and Non-members save 7%.

Find more information on our webpage or call 1-833-323-2456.

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