clear the shelters

How to Pick the Perfect Pet for Your Family

Everyone should be on board when it comes to committing to the animal’s caretaking, experts say

NBC Universal, Inc.

Maybe you’ve always wanted a pet, or maybe you think it’s time to grow your furry family. If the thought has crossed your mind, now is a good time to act. Shelters need your help.

Shelters across the country are seeing a big drop in pet adoptions since the pandemic adoption craze. That means many animals are looking for new homes and intake is limited until they find them.

But how do you know which pet, especially dog, is the right fit for you or your family?

Animal Welfare Specialist Amy Barkhouse says if you’re looking to add a furry friend to the family, keep the criteria simple.

"When we are talking with potential adopters, we're asking about things like lifestyle, schedule, interest, like how do you envision your life with your pet," Barkhouse said.

She says the answers to these kinds of questions can really help narrow down a search.

“That'll help us match people with dogs that maybe need more exercise, less exercise, can handle seeing other dogs, cannot handle seeing other dogs” she explained.

Also, she recommends that if it’s a pet for the kids, to remember it’s a family affair. She says everyone should be on board when it comes to committing to the animal’s caretaking.

"It’s really good to include your kids in conversation about care and husbandry for animals," Barkhouse said. "So they understand the amount of work that goes into it and then certainly understanding that the whims of kids might change.”

You also want to keep in mind that finding the right fit is easy, if you take the time to figure out what you’re looking for.

"It's a little more involved, perhaps, than just walking in and picking out a dog or a cat or something like that," Barkhouse said. "It takes a lot more conversation, but the goal being just making sure it's a good fit."

And it’s not just dogs. You want to keep a lot of this in mind no matter what animal you’re adopting. Their network of shelters has more than 700 animals up for adoption, including everything from dogs and cats to birds, bunnies, pigs and horses.

Contact Us