There is nothing more noble and wonderful than adopting a pet that had no home or human friend. Giving a home to an animal and loving it will make your life richer and happier, and the stray will be very grateful and shower you with love and attention. However, there are some things you need to be careful about, because adopting a stray will not be easy or trouble-free. A stray that became one because someone kicked it out of its previous home has trust issues and might need some time to begin to trust you. Moreover, a stray that lived on the street for a long time might have developed some ugly habits or picked up some illnesses. This is why you need to be very careful when adopting, but in the end all the trouble pays off – you get a true friend who will love you as long as it lives.
The first thing you need to think about is the safety – yours and your family’s. Then, you need to make sure your new friend will be able to adapt to the new environment. You can help it by doing the following things:
Take your new friend to the veterinary office. This is the first and most important step you need to take when adopting a stray, because you never know if the animal is healthy or carrying a disease that could harm you, your family or your other pets (if you have any). That is why the vet should check your pet as soon as possible to see if it has communicable diseases, and if the answer is yes – deal with it as soon as possible. Another important thing, besides a check up, is to schedule vaccinations for your adopted pet, to make sure it, as well as you and your family, will be healthy and able to live a normal life together.
Don’t give up on your pet just because it got big. Animals, especially cats and dogs, are adorable when they are small, and then all their clumsiness and the mess they make is cute. However, when they get older and larger, people tend to throw them out on the street because they become a nuisance, take too much space, are not as cute anymore, or for some other reason. You should realize that pets are not toys. When you adopt one, you need to commit to take care of it as long as it lives. It will thank you every day for your commitment if you do so. But if you are not planning to keep it – it is better not to adopt. Giving your pet hope and love, and then abandoning it and leaving it to live on its own and face the dangers of the street – maybe even die of hunger – that is one of the cruelest things you can do. So be careful and think things through when deciding about adopting a stray, because that is a lifelong commitment.