Adopting a Pet: Tips for Success

Posted on 2/4/2020
Categories: Cleaning for Pets and Family
Animal shelters can be a very strange place for pets. New people, animals, smells, and noises can be scary for pets. At Pawsitively Clean, we strive to help BISSELL Pet Foundation® Empty The Shelters and help families adopt a furry family member!

BISSELL Pet Foundation

Millions of pets enter pet shelters every year in North America and almost half of them are euthanized. BISSELL Pet Foundation’s goal is to find a forever home for every pet in need. BPF assists animal welfare organizations in every state through funding for pet adoptions, spay/neuter, microchipping and foster care programs.

Tips for a Successful Pet Adoption


Choose the right pet for your family

When your family is ready to adopt a pet, there are several things to consider when choosing to save a pet. Are you more interested in rescue dogs? Or would you rather adopt a cat? Or, honestly, one of the many other pets that make their way into the animal shelters. Regardless, we have a few tips to help you make the best fit with your new furry friend:

Visit the Animal Shelter often

Visit your local animal shelter often! This will help you really learn different pets’ personalities. Take time to chat with the staff and volunteers at the animal rescue shelters. They are with the pets more than you’ll be able to before adoption and can help match you up with pets if they get to know you.

Adopt a Pet that Fits your Lifestyle

Know the best fit for your lifestyle. If you really want a puppy but are away from home all day, that might not be the right fit for you. If you have a small apartment, a big dog might not be your best choice. Be open to other pet options. Some pet preferences like size or age matter to your lifestyle, but others, like gender or color, aren’t important to giving a good pet a loving home.

A Pet is a Friend for Life

Remember that you are choosing a friend for life. Don’t decide to adopt a pet without thinking through the financial and time commitments, as well as how they will affect your living situation. We want you and your pet to enjoy a long, happy life together and to start with the best paw forward!

Purchase pet supplies beforehand

Before you adopt a pet, get ready to bring them home. Be sure that you have:
  • Food, plus food & water bowls
  • Collar with ID tag
  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Brushes/Grooming equipment
  • For dogs: Leash, poop bags
  • For cats: Litter box, scoop, kitty litter, scratching post
  • Cleaning supplies! Paper towels and cleaning sprays for accidents are a must. You can also check out our portable cleaner, SpotClean Pet Plus. It combines powerful suction and different cleaning tools in a portable cleaner to get out challenging stains.

Make a safe place for your new pet

Another thing to do before you bring home your new furry friend from the pet shelter is to create a space that is just for them in your house. For cats, that might be a bathroom or laundry room they can ‘have’ as their space. Or maybe a covered cat bed or a cardboard box with a door.

For a dog, a crate can be used or maybe a part of the kitchen can be sectioned off. Remember that a crate isn’t jail for a dog, it can be their safe space. Make sure it’s big enough for them to stand up and turn around in, add a blanket and a toy, and they may hang out in there when the door is open.

Start training your pet ASAP

If you adopt an adult pet they may or may not be housetrained, you may misread the pet’s signals on when they need to go (for dogs) or they may not know where to go (cats). So, housetraining may be quite a bit of work at the start.

Most shelters have housetraining information available and there is also great information online. Start taking dogs out first thing in the morning, after they eat and right before bed. Watch cats and show them the litter box in the morning, and after meals and playtime. Just remember patience, consistency, and rewards are key during this process.

Avoid Overwhelming your new pet

We’re so glad that you decided to save a pet and adopt. As fun as it is to have a new member of the family, remember that it is easy for new pets to be overwhelmed by new places and lots of new people.

Introduce your Pet to one Room at a Time

Ease the transition from pet shelter to your home by introducing your new pet to your home one room and one person at a time.

Give your Pet Time to Calm Down

Give them some time to recover between people, if it seems like they are getting exhausted.

Gradually introduce your new pet to other pets

Gradually introduce them to other pets through baby gates or crates. If either pet seems nervous or aggressive, separate them and try again later after things have calmed down.

We hope these tips were helpful and your new pet snuggles right into your home. Learn more about the BISSELL Pet Foundation by visiting their site!

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