Are You Really Ready to Adopt?

The decision to adopt a pet should never be made lightly. Animals become deeply attached to their new families, and we must do all we can to prevent them from feeling rejected or abandoned all over again.

When choosing a pet, there are several factors to take into consideration. Below you will find information that can give you a realistic idea of the costs and responsibilities inherent in adopting a dog, a cat or any other pet.

Adopting a pet from a shelter is a wonderful act that will bring you a great deal of joy. If you want to adopt one of our residents and make a place for it in your life, come by and see us!

What Type of Pet is Best for You?

“I would really like to have a pet in my life!” Have you always wanted a pet and now you think the time is right?

First, ask yourself whether you’re really ready!

Avoid acting on impulse by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have time in my life for a pet? How much time can I devote to my pet each day?
  • Do I have the financial resources to take care of a pet? What would happen if I lost my job or … ? (Pets need healthcare, grooming and so on. You should have sufficient funds on hand.)
  • Am I willing to invest in specific needs like healthcare, training and resolving behavioural problems?
  • What lifestyle can I give to a pet? Am I quiet or active?
  • Am I allowed pets where I live? Am I willing to limit myself to accommodations that accept pets?
  • Why do I want a pet? Is it because I’m bored? For exercise? To give my children a friend?

Think about your answers carefully and then ask yourself what type of animal would be best for you.

  1. A dog?
    What a wonderful companion! Deeply attached to their humans, dogs love to be around people, and they give plenty of love in return. How can you resist? And yet, dogs require a lot of time every day: several walks a day, play, stimulation, grooming and training (especially for puppies). Our schedules and expectations do not always mesh with the needs of a dog.
  2. A cat?
    A gracious, gentle and simple friend! Felines are lovely creatures, cuddly and independent at the same time. Cats’ needs are often very simple: a litter box, a bit of playtime and minimal grooming. However, cats are very attached to their territory and routine. Living with other animals can sometimes be a problem. Since cats tend to be independent, their owners sometimes neglect their healthcare and other obligations (like giving them proper identification). Instead, they’re content to let kitty in and out without a second thought.
  3. An exotic pet?
    A rabbit, a bird, a guinea pig, a rat … There are so many animals waiting for a good home. But “the smaller the animal, the smaller its needs” does not always hold true! These animals require playtime, regular maintenance of their surroundings, a specialized diet and a stimulating environment. Every exotic pet is one of a kind!

Once you’ve settled on the right animal for you, think about where you’ll get it:

  • From a breeder: Yes, if you are thinking about a particular breed. Check that the breeder’s activities are ethical and that he or she allows you to visit all his or her facilities. Make sure the breeder is certified by Anima-Québec.
  • From a pet shop: Yes, but only if the pet shop supplies animals from shelters and/or animals that have been abandoned. Don’t be shy to ask about where the animals come from to make sure you’re not encouraging pet mills.
  • From a shelter: YES! Many animals still go unwanted. If you want to give an animal a second chance, this is the best place to go. Shelters often carry out behavioural and medical assessments of their animals and have them spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and sometimes even microchipped. It’s a great opportunity to do a good deed!

Just starting your search and looking for some good advice?

Speak to your veterinarian and the shelters in your area, and then deepen your research by reading up on the subject.

Then, once you’re informed, listen to what your heart says. After all, adopting a pet is for life!

Adopting a Dog

A dog is a sensitive, intelligent being (no wonder we call it “man’s best friend!”) that needs much more than just food.

Choose your dog according to your tastes and lifestyle. You should never choose a dog just because you think it’s cute. Every breed has special characteristics that make it unique.

Here are some important points to consider:

  • A dog’s life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. Will you be able to take care of it for its whole life?
  • Do you have a baby or are you expecting one? Make sure you choose a dog that gets along with children.
  • Does anyone in your family have allergies?
  • How much time will you be able to spend with your dog every day? A dog needs attention, walks and opportunities to play.
  • Do you have any other pets at home? Are you sure they’ll get along well with the newcomer? If so, you can learn in this section how to introduce a new dog into a household that is already home to several pets.
  • What will you do during your vacation? A dog cannot remain alone more than a few hours a day. For your dog to be happy, someone will have to be there to take care of it.
  • A puppy can take months to toilet train. Do you have the necessary patience to train it properly?
  • Are you able to take your dog out at least twice a day so that it can relieve itself and get some exercise?
  • Shelters and dog catchers receive boxes of abandoned puppies nearly every day. We need your help to solve this problem! Have your dog spayed or neutered as soon as it reaches adolescence.
  • Do you have the financial resources to meet your dog’s needs? In addition to the adoption costs, here are the other expenses you can expect for care and grooming:
    • Initial visit to the veterinarian (consultation + vaccines + anti-parasitic): $85–$150
    • Food (depends on the size of the dog and brand): average of $400/year
    • Grooming (bathing and hair cutting): $35–$100
    • Training: $125–$300 for four to six classes
    • Boarding: $25–$50 a day
    • Basic equipment:
      • Cage: $50–$120
      • Bed or basket: $20–$50
      • Two bowls: $5–$30
      • Brush/comb: $5–$15
      • Claw clippers: $10–$35
      • Collar and tag: $10–$30
      • Harness: $10–$40
      • Leash: $5–$30
      • Toys
      • Treats
    • Don’t forget to put some money aside for emergencies.

Now you’ve got everything you need to make a well-informed decision. All that’s left is to find the right animal. Shelters have lots of animals that want nothing more than to join a good family. Adopting from a shelter is a good deed that will bring you lots of joy!

See the list of dogs available for adoption at Services Animaliers de la Rive-Sud.

Adopting a Cat

Your family has decided to adopt a pet, and everyone has agreed on a cat. So what’s the next step?

Here are some important points to consider before choosing your cat:

  • A cat’s life expectancy is 15 to 20 years. Will you be able to take care of it for its whole life?
  • Any cat will inevitably shed hair and have to sharpen its claws. You will have to have some sort of scratcher to make sure the cat doesn’t damage your belongings, as well as a blanket to avoid an accumulation of hair on favourite pieces of furniture.
  • Cats spend a great deal of time and energy grooming themselves. Hairballs can form in their digestive systems, and some cats vomit frequently. Are you up for dealing with this aspect of cat ownership?
  • If you live in an apartment, your cat will need more attention and more stimulation than a cat who can go outside to work off its energy. Will you have time to play with it and give it the attention it needs?
  • Does anyone in your family have allergies?
  • Do you have any other pets at home? Are you sure that they’ll get along with the newcomer? If so, you can learn in this section how to introduce a new cat into a household that is already home to one or more pets.
  • Who will take care of your cat while you’re on vacation? Cats get along best when left in their own environment. The ideal solution is to have someone come by and take care of your cat in your home so it will be less destabilized by your absence.
  • Do you have the financial resources to meet your cat’s needs? In addition to the adoption costs, here are the other expenses you can expect for grooming and care:
    • Initial visit to the veterinarian (consultation + vaccines + anti-parasitic): $70–$100
    • Food: average of $300/year
    • Basic equipment:
      • Cat carrier: $25–$40
      • Litter box: $8–$15
      • Litter scoop: $2
      • Litter: $100–$150/year
      • Bed or basket: $10–$30
      • Two bowls: $5–$20
      • Brush/comb: $5–$7
      • Claw clippers: $5–$10
      • Collar and tag: $10–$15
      • Scratcher: $5–$15
      • Toys
      • Snacks
    • Don’t forget to put some money aside for emergencies.

Now you’ve got everything you need to make a well-informed decision. All that’s left is to find the right animal. Shelters have lots of animals that want nothing more than to join a good family. Adopting from a shelter is a good deed that will bring you lots of joy!

See the list of cats available for adoption at Services Animaliers de la Rive-Sud.

Adopting an Exotic Pet

Whether rabbit or ferret, bird or rodent, there is a wide range of small exotic pets available, each with their own particular needs. It’s important to get all the information before adopting an exotic pet. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  • What type of cage or enclosure does this animal need?
  • Is it active in the day or at night?
  • Does it prefer to live alone or with another animal?
  • How energetic and active is it?
  • Can it get along successfully with other species?
  • How much maintenance does its environment require?
  • What is its behaviour like and what are its habits?
  • What is its life expectancy?
  • Will it require any veterinary care?
  • What expenses are involved in owning this animal?

Please search the web on these topics or contact us for more information about the species of your choice. Exotic pets are living beings that will require love and care their whole lives. Are you willing and able to meet all their needs?

All that’s left now is to find the right animal. Shelters have lots of animals that want nothing more than to join a good family. Adopting from a shelter is a good deed that will bring you lots of joy!

See the list of exotic pets available for adoption at Services Animaliers de la Rive-Sud.