5 Questions To Ask Before You Get a New Family Pet

Adopting a dog or cat? Here's what you need to know before you bring your furry family member home.
By Samantha Brody

Ages

6-13


Thinking about welcoming a shelter pup or kitty into your home? Before you sign on the dotted line, get answers to these questions, suggested by Robert Shapiro, founder of Social Tees Animal Rescue in New York City.

  1. What vet care has this animal had? Full medical is usually included in the adoption fee, which means the animal has been spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and more. Make sure you know what your potential pet still needs, though.
  2. Does this animal get along with kids? You need a pet that can keep its cool if its tail gets tugged.
  3. What do we do if this animal gets sick after we adopt? Some shelters offer free or low-cost medications and treatments for minor illnesses, and most can recommend a vet.
  4. Can we foster this animal before adopting? Fostering means temporarily owning an animal while it waits to find a forever home. You can also foster with the intention of adopting, a great way to “test out” a pet. But you can return it to the shelter at any time if it isn’t a good family fit.
  5. What happens if this animal doesn't work out? If you adopted without fostering, some shelters let you return the pet and find a new one for no extra fee, but others charge. 
Social Skills
Raising Kids
Cognitive Skills
Age 13
Age 12
Age 11
Age 10
Age 9
Age 8
Age 7
Age 6
Pets