So, you’re thinking about bringing a new pet into your home! Congratulations! Kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats add so much love and joy to our days. Before you fall for a sweet new face, it’s important to stop and consider what type of pet is the right fit for you. Here are ten questions to ask yourself before making the final decision to adopt your new furry friend!

1. What is my motivation to adopt this pet?

Are you looking for an adventure buddy? Do you want a pal to lounge on the couch with? Having a pet should be a positive experience, so check your motivations to help determine whether this pet is a great fit!

2. What are my expectations for my new companion?

Are you looking for a high or low energy pet? Do you need your pet to be quiet because you live in an apartment? Do you want them to be friendly or potty trained? Does this pet need to get along with other animals? Be sure to make your expectations clear to your adoption counselor, no question or request is too silly!

3. What is my lifestyle like right now?

If you are a renter, will you have to forfeit your pet deposit if your dog has a few accidents or your new cat scratches the carpet? If you live with roommates, family, or a significant other, are they on board to bring in a pet? If you are active, will this animal be able to join you?

4. Will my life be changing soon?

If you plan on moving to a new city or state, can you make plans to bring your pet with you? If you move in with a new roommate, will they be allergic or afraid?

5. Is my home a good fit for this animal?

Is a high energy dog a good fit for an apartment? Can your things get scratched up? It’s important to remember that some dog breeds won’t thrive in a small space, and some cats need training to not scratch at curtains or rugs. 

6. How much time and effort can I set aside for my new pet?

Are you busy and seeking a low maintenance furry friend? If an adoption counselor says the dog needs training, how much time can you set aside to train? If the dog or cat is high energy, will you be able to spend enough time playing with and exercising them?

7. What does my current budget look like?

Do you have enough to budget for food, treats, and other miscellaneous supplies? If there is an emergency, can you afford the emergency pet hospital bill or should you apply for pet insurance or other financing options?

8. If this pet has special needs, am I prepared to take on these needs?

The SPCA of Northern Nevada will always inform you of any medical conditions or behavioral needs the pet you want to adopt may have. Before starting your adoption journey, ask yourself if you are willing to bring home an animal that needs extra care.

9. If I have a pet at home, do I feel prepared to introduce my new pet to my current pet?

Are you able to keep your pets separated when you are not there to supervise? You can expect there to be some hissing or growling at first as they set their boundaries with each other, but we always let adopters know that slow and steady is best with introductions! If you ever run into issues or need advice, feel free to contact our helpline at (775) 324-7773 extension 200.

10. If you plan on having multiple pets in the future, will this pet do well with that change?

Here at the SPCA of Northern Nevada, we will always give you any information we have on how an animal gets along with animals of their same species and other species. We test dogs with other dogs but not cats with dogs. We will always tell you everything we know about the animal and answer any questions you may have to ensure the best fit!


Written by Ana Hurt

We believe that there is a person for every animal, and we strongly believe in the value a pet can add to our lives. We also want you to be set up for success when you take your new furry friend home, so we hope this helps!

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