Congrats, you’re ready to be a pet parent and score all the kisses and purrs that come with it. Your get-one guide:
Kick-start your search at akc.org, petfinder.com, and the shelterpetproject.org. These sites can help you find adoptable pets in your area and then connect with them IRL. You can usually read about their personalities and backgrounds-kinda like a dating profile, but cuter. And as with dating, that meet-up is super important!
SAVE A LIFE
Six and a half million dogs and cats enter shelters nationwide each year, per the ASPCA. The pros: Pets can usually be taken home right away, and new rescues come in frequently, says Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Adopting can save you money too. The fees often cover spaying/neutering, vaccines, and a microchip. The con: “Recues can be a lot of work if they’ve endured trauma,” says Burch.
ASK AN EXPERT
Good breeders know and love their dogs inside and out. They do bring more pups into the world when there are so many awaiting homes, but responsible ones work toward good health in every litter, require spaying/neutering, and offer a safety net for those unable to care for their dog at any time.
SKIP THE PET STORE
Many mall shops get their pets from puppy mills, where animals are often mistreated and develop health and behavioral problems as a result. Keep walkin’.