Adopting a Dog or Cat Near Hinesville? READ THIS FIRST!

So I'll start off by saying this post is by no means meant to discourage anyone from adopting an animal. Nor do I intend to come off as preachy or judgmental. But everyday, I see new posts on Craigslist or on Facebook groups where people are giving away recently adopted animals for various reasons; they don't get along with their other animals, they can't afford the cost, they're moving soon, etc. And it's sad really. The dog grows attached to the family; if there are kids involved, they grow attached, and then it's all ruined because someone didn't think their decision through. So I've compiled a few tips to keep in mind in case you're considering adopting here in the Hinesville/ Ft. Stewart area (or anywhere, for that matter).

Consider the Cost
I've got two spoiled dogs and two equally spoiled cats. The hubby and I would LOVE to add a third dog to the family, especially one of the sad souls I see on the Facebook groups. But the main thing that stops us is cost. When considering adding a pet to the family, one has to consider the added cost of things like shots (for puppies, some of these initial shots require boosters within 2-3 weeks) and spaying or neutering. Not to mention grooming, as well as supplies like toys, crate, leash, and food. Taking care of your pet doesn't have to be expensive. There are low-cost neuter/ spay programs and you can save money on grooming by bathing your pet yourself. As for vet costs, definitely call around and get estimates. We take ours to Liberty Veterinary Clinic on Oglethorpe next to Kobe. All the ladies are really sweet and the prices are reasonable.

Establish a Plan in Case You Move
The number one reason I've seen for getting rid of a pet is relocating. I understand about PCSing; sometimes you get orders at the drop of a hat. But it helps to prepare yourself and your family in advance in case you have to relocate. Consider the added cost of finding hotels and/ or rental homes that allow pets. If that's not a cost you're prepared to eat, perhaps now is not the best time to adopt especially if you're coming up on the end of a tour or your spouse's unit is in flux and could receive orders any day.

Give The New Animal Time to Get to Know Your Current Pet (and vice versa)
If you already have pets like I do, another point to consider is how well the new pet will get a long with your original animal. I see this reason on Craigslist and the boards all the time and it's so sad, because there's tons of FREE information out there about helping new and old pets get along. The biggest thing to realize and accept is that this process will take time and will most likely not be completely drama-free. I've had my cat, Smokey since I was a junior in high school. My third year in college, my sister and I adopted my second cat, Sookie. It took about a month or so for the two cats to grow comfortable around each other (Sookie was comfortable almost immediately, but Smokey needed some time). I followed the tips online, put in the effort, and today, they groom each other and sometimes snuggle together.

Seriously Consider the Time and Effort Required (ESPECIALLY if you're considering a puppy)
Speaking of effort, please be sure to consider the time and effort that a new animal is going to require. For example, even dogs that are advertised as potty-trained may need a few refreshers in a new environment. Basically, all of the tips above are going to require time, effort, and patience. If this seems daunting or you've already got a lot going on, adopting a pet may not be the best option.

BONUS TIP: Adopting vs Purchasing
Okay, so just my opinion, but I am FIRMLY against purchasing from pet stores. It's been said before, but it bears repeating; most pet shop animals come from puppy mills or similarly unscrupulous avenues and, when you purchase from a pet shop, you're supporting that. If you MUST purchase, check out these tips to help keep the process as positive and responsible as possible.

Would you like to share your own tips to consider before adopting a dog or cat? Tell me below!

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