LOUISIANA (KPLC) - Animal shelters say they are at capacity with rescues, many of whom are abandoned.
Before getting a pet, prospective owners should consider whether they are ready to commit to the care an animal will need.
Here are 10 things to consider, according to Pet MD.
Can You Commit?
Pet MD suggests considering the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. If your schedule does not allow the essential tasks required for owning a pet - walking your dog three times a day, remembering to exercise your cat every evening - considering a low-maintenance pet may be a good idea.
Will Your Pet Fit Your Lifestyle?
Getting to know the breed you are interested in and being open to changing your mind if it doesn't fit your ability to provide for its temperament is key when choosing a pet. Make sure you find out all you can about the animal from the people adopting the animal out
Interview Veterinarians Before the Adoption
Veterinarians are an invaluable source of information to help you choose the best pet to suit your lifestyle and needs. Doing research on veterinarians in your community and making interview appointments with them prior to adopting a pet can ensure you find the best care for your animal.
Make Your Home Pet-Friendly
Pet MD stresses the importance of searching out hazards and getting them out of the house before bringing your new pet home. Cabinets at pet level, counter tops, bottles of chemicals on the flood, small toys, electric cords, curtain cords and toxic plants are all things to look for when pet-proofing your home.
Choose an Age and Breed Appropriate Food
Consulting your veterinarian about the most appropriate food for your pets needs is essential in guaranteeing long-term health. Check pet food labels and look for a complete and balanced diet.
Be Prepared for an Adjustment Period
It's important to be prepared for your pet's adjustment period. Setting up a quiet and comfortable place for nighttime and letting your pet roam around supervised during the day will help your pet get to know its new home.
Train Your Pet
Pet MD says that immediate house training is essential in maintaining a happy home. Introduce pets to litterboxes and their community.
Select Appropriate Pet Treats and Toys
Treats are a great tool for behavior training, especially for puppies. Pet MD suggests trying different dog treats and sticking with the one that has the highest value for your puppy. Staying practical with treats is essential in ensuring your dog's health. Toys should be free of buttons, strings, and anything that can be bitten off and swallowed.
Consider Spaying and Neutering
The best thing you can do for your pet's health is to have him or her neutered, according to Pet MD. Neutering can be performed as early as eight weeks and is usually done around four to six months.
Outfit Your Pet with Proper ID
Make sure your contact information is on your pet's collar, keeping photos on hand, and microchipping your pet is important when it comes to keeping track of them in the event they get lost.
For more information, visit PetMD.com.