Welcoming a new member into the family is a very important step, so it’s essential to think long and hard before adopting a cat or dog. Animal shelters around the world are full of deserving animals in need, so we’ve compiled this list of important considerations to help you prepare for your new animal companion!!

The first thing to consider is that adopting an animal is a lifelong commitment, and it will involve your time and dedication. Each individual has specific characteristics and needs, so before making the decision to take in an animal, it’s very important to calculate how much you can invest in food, veterinary care, and other needs for your four-legged companion. Your budget will help determine whether you can take care of an animal with special needs, an older animal who may require frequent or ongoing medical care, or a larger animal who would require more food than a smaller one. The most important step is to find an animal who is compatible with you and your lifestyle.

In addition to financial considerations, it is important to determine the personalities, energy levels, and temperaments of different animals and breeds. Cats and some dog breeds are typically on the quieter side, and others may be restless. There are dogs and cats who enjoy sleeping most of the day and others who demand more playtime and exercise. Some need more space, and others are happy with having a square meter next to you. In any case, you should know that dogs are social beings and need daily walks and interaction with other animals. On the other hand, although their favorite place will always be close to you, dogs and cats may need their own space and time alone.

The advantage of adopting an adult dog or cat is that the shelter staff is already familiar with their characteristics and can guide you to choose the best match. Puppies also show some personality tendencies, but a lot will depend on how you raise them. You will have to dedicate a lot of time to a young puppy so they will adapt to you and your lifestyle.

When opening your home to a new animal, it is essential to create a welcoming environment and to be very patient until you adapt to each other. This acclimation period can take several days, weeks, or even months, however, once your new companion feels at home, you will receive true companionship and love. Above all, you must be willing to learn from each other every day.

Another important step is to analyze your family and friends to determine who can care for your dog or cat with love in case you can’t. You must also be responsible for your companion animals’ actions and ensure that they are properly socialized. If something goes wrong, you must be ready to assume the consequences as you are their guardian.

Finally, please fully consider that the lives of dogs and cats are short, and you should be able to make the most of the time you have together. You must know that their departure is inevitable and be prepared for them to leave this world with dignity and face the moment with great strength and love.

Remember, there are many animals who live on the streets and in shelters who desperately need loving homes. If you are ready to experience true and unconditional love and can fully commit to and care for an animal in need, adopt a companion animal today! 

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Mati Nuñez del Prado Alanes
Matilde Nuñez del Prado Alanes is from La Paz, Bolivia. She made her thesis in Sociology on cockfighting, as a result of an undercover investigation in the field for 4 years, and she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Critical Theory. Her topics of interest are the relationships between humans and other sentient animals from the perspective of Critical Animal Studies, the socio-ecological issues, and the intersectionality between different forms of oppression, domination and exploitation.