Should You Adopt a Pet From a Shelter?

 

The next time you’re in the market for a new pet and wondering where to buy a cat, dog, or other animal, try setting your sights on your local animal shelter. Despite any negative stereotypes animal shelters may have, they actually provide a ton of healthy, happy pet options for your family to take home and love.

Here are 5 things you may have heard in the past about shelter pets, and what the actual truth is.

Myth #1: Shelter pets aren’t healthy.

Truth: In fact, shelter pets can be quite healthy. In addition, many shelter pets are spayed and neutered, and some even come with location microchips.

Although there is much variety in animal shelters throughout the country, most good shelters almost always provide excellent vet care for their animals. In most shelters animals are vaccinated upon intake.

Myth #2: I won’t be able to find a pure breed at a shelter.

Truth: According to some studies approximately 25% of all dogs in shelters are purebreds. 

Myth #3: Shelter pets are unruly.

Truth: Many shelter pets receive some training and socialization before adoption to help make the transition to their new family easier.  Many volunteers visit the shelters on a regular basis to socialize and train these animals for their fur-ever home!

Myth #4: I won’t be able to properly get to know my pet from the shelter before I take her home.

Truth: Many shelters offer online pet profiles so that you can get to know the animals that are available before you even step foot in the shelter. It is always a good idea to schedule a ‘get-acquainted’ session with your prospective shelter pet and, have a list of questions you can ask the available shelter staff and the staff veterinarian. You should also try to schedule a meet n’ greet with the other animals in your household to make sure the new fur-baby is a good fit for your family.

Myth #5: All the pets in a shelter will be older.

Truth: Shelters and rescues have pets of all ages.

At the end of the day, deciding where to get your brand new family member from is a big decision, but with the right information, it can be made a bit easier.

When you adopt a pet from the shelter, it is important to immediately establish a relationship with a veterinarian to care for that new addition to your family.  In fact, your pet needs to be examined at least yearly by a vet even if it appears healthy as many diseases are hidden and not apparent.  Remember, it is much cheaper to prevent disease than it is to treat it!

More from PetMD here

Should I spay or neuter my pet?

Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats, including puppies and kittens, are euthanized. The good news is that responsible pet owners can make a difference. By having your dog or cat sterilized, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters, help protect against some serious health problems, and may reduce many of the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct.

Removing a female dog or cat’s ovaries eliminates heat cycles and generally reduces the unwanted behaviors that may lead to owner frustration. Removing the testes from male dogs and cats reduces the breeding instinct, making them less inclined to roam and more content to stay at home.

Early spaying of female dogs and cats can help protect them from some serious health problems later in life such as uterine infections and breast cancer. Neutering your male pet can also lessen its risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland) and testicular cancer.

The procedure has no effect on a pet’s intelligence or ability to learn, play, work or hunt. Some pets tend to be better behaved following surgical removal of their ovaries or testes, making them more desirable companions.

What are the risks of spaying and neutering?

Although reproductive hormones cause mating behaviors that may be undesirable for many pet owners, these hormones also affect your pet’s overall health and can be beneficial. Removing your pet’s ovaries or testes removes these hormones and can result in increased risk of health problems such as urinary incontinence and some types of cancer. Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of the sterilization procedure so you can make an informed decision.

While both spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures, they are also the most common surgeries performed by veterinarians on cats and dogs. Like any surgical procedure, sterilization is associated with some anesthetic and surgical risk, but the overall incidence of complications is very low.

Before the procedure, your pet is given a thorough physical examination to ensure that he/she is in good health. General anesthesia is administered to perform the surgery and medications are given to minimize pain. You will be asked to keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days after surgery as the incision begins to heal.

When should I spay or neuter my pet?

Consult your veterinarian about the most appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet based upon his/her breed, age and physical condition. Keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, it may NOT be best to wait until your female dog or cat has gone through her first heat cycle.

How do I decide?

Discuss your options with your veterinarian so you can get answers and make an educated decision.

More info from AVMA here

https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/AnimalWelfare/Pages/Elective-Spaying-Neutering-Pets.aspx

Homeward Bound Total Wellness

www.homewardboundpets.com