Are you considering adopting a new pet? You’ve probably heard horror stories of people getting animals that they couldn’t handle. Don’t let these uncommon stories scare you away from adopting a new pet. There are many pets in adoption agencies that are ready for a warm and loving home.

You just need to make sure the new pet you meet is right for you. To help with this, we’ve put together questions to ask your pet adoption agency before taking your new friend home.

Questions to Ask Your Pet Adoption Agency

Before committing to adopt a new animal into your home here are some questions to ask your pet adoption agency. These questions might not apply to every animal, but these questions can really help you get a feel for if this animal will do well in your home.

Confirming the Animal’s History

Step one: When you want to get to know an animal, you will find out as much as you can about their history. Animals go up for adoption all the time. Some are there because they have been mistreated by a previous owner, but a lot are there because someone had a change of life circumstances. In these instances, they simply may not have been able to care for the animal to their liking and would rather find them a good home.

  • How long has the animal been there?
  • Where did the pet come from?
  • Why was the animal surrendered?
  • Where does the animal sleep at night?
  • How does the animal do with grooming?

These questions for the adoption agency can be asked even before you meet the animal for the first time. It’s easy to get a feel for the animal-based on these questions as well. Finding out how long the animal has been there will give you an idea of how many people may have passed on it. Some people don’t have the time to work with a needy animal, but it’s important to remember that all animals deserve a loving home.

Behavior Questions

Questions about an animal’s behavior can give you an idea of what to expect if you take the animal home.

  • Does the animal do any resource guarding?
  • How does the animal do with others?
  • Do they have any apparent fears?
  • How much exercise does the animal need?

Behaviors like resource guarding can be broken. You can also train an animal to get along with others to an extent. Protecting against an animal’s fears may be a bit more difficult depending on what the specific fears are. Some animals seem to have a fear of men more than women. Some fear loud noises. Learning about the specific animal can help you manage these fears.

Training Questions

The old adage about an old dog not learning tricks is completely untrue. Any animal still has the capacity to learn. If you talk to them about how well trained the animal already is, it will give you a good place to start. Here are some questions you can ask to get an idea of how much work you might have to do to get the animal trained.

  • Is the animal housebroken and how often does it go?
  • Is the animal crate trained?
  • How do they act when left alone?
  • How does the animal do on a leash?
  • Do they know any commands?
  • What training or discipline works with the animal?

Health Questions

Lastly, you’ll want to know as much as you can about the animal’s health. Medical bills are one of the most expensive parts of owning a pet. If you understand the animal’s health, it will prepare you for what the cost of ownership might be. Dogs that are not in the best of health will obviously need more trips to the vet.

  • Has the animal been looked at by a vet?
  • Is the animal spayed or neutered?
  • Has the animal been vaccinated and given preventative medications?
  • Is the animal chipped?
  • Check the eyes and ears

The last bit about checking the animal’s eyes and ears is pretty important. If their eyes and ears are clean and clear, the animal is probably in pretty good health. If their eyes are goopy or their ears are dirty or foul-smelling, they either are sick or will simply need more preventative help. Again, this is just an idea of what you can expect from ownership.

Final Thoughts

Remember, just because an animal might be sick or underweight doesn’t mean they will be a bad pet. Until you learn where the animal came from, don’t be quick to judge. Animals are just like people in that they learn who they can trust and they are social creatures too.

Asking the right questions can get your new relationship off on the right paw.