Adopting a pet has amazing benefits, not only for the pet but also for us humans, charities and society as a whole. 

The decision to adopt a pet shouldn’t be taken lightly, particularly in the current climate. Pet adoptions doubled in the first week of the pandemic compared to this time last year but being at home more just now shouldn’t be the only reason to take on a new pet. Uncertainty about job security; vets not able to work at full capacity and rising costs of insurance all must be considered. A pet is for life, not just the pandemic!  

If the time is right, then you need to think about the type of pet that suits your family. Rabbits are sociable and friendly. They are easy to train but do needs lots of attention and should be kept in pairs where possible. They are good pets for families with young children to show them the responsibility of owning a pet. Cats are a bit more independent than dogs and don’t need owners to be around as much. There are so many different feline personalities that you usually find a cat will choose you as much as you choose the cat. Dogs are a bigger responsibility; they need to be trained and walked regularly but will show unconditional love like you have never known! Owning any type of pet has lots of benefits for us, everything from being made to exercise and talk to other dog walkers to lowering blood pressure when stroking a cat.  

There are many animal shelters. From small local ones to huge nationwide charities. Once you know the type of pet you want and thought about their place in your family then you can start looking. Most places will have websites where you can see the animals available and some places are open to the public for you to go and have a look around.  This will probably be by appointment, wearing a facemask and keeping socially distant.  When you find one you love the shelter will ask you lots of questions and perhaps arrange a home check to make sure your living arrangements will suit this animal.  

When you have chosen your new furry family member you will start to get your home ready for the big day. Think about the equipment you will need – a hutch and a pen for a small furry animal or bed, lead and bowls for your dog. A new cat will need to be kept indoors for a month or two until they can get used to you and the home so a litter tray and litter is a must. Will you be setting aside a quiet area that they can go to if they are feeling overwhelmed? Are you going to be introducing them to any pets already living in your house? These are important questions you will need to research before your new pet comes home. If you need any help answering these, or for any other pet health enquiries then consider becoming a PetGP member. You will have 24/7 access to a Registered Vet Nurse.