The time has come that your family has decided your home is ready for a new 4 legged family member. Our local shelters are full of loving and adoptable dogs and cats of varying personalities. But, before you decide on which pooch is the perfect fit for you,  research is important to make sure your decision ends in a happily ever after match.

Their History.  Pets end up at the local shelters for various reasons – surrenders, health/behavior issues, or they may have been strays roaming the streets. Depending on the circumstance, shelter workers may or may not be able to educate you about their history. If they are a surrender, often the previous family can shed some light onto the pets temperament. Are they good with children? Other pets? High energy? Health concerns? Many shelters also screen for heart worms and other diseases or health conditions before a pet is deemed adoptable. These are all good questions to ask the shelter workers while you are considering your decision.

Your Family. Just as you should research the pets history, your family’s needs and environment are also an important factor. The temperament of different breeds can greatly affect your home and the pets ability to adapt. Do you have a large fenced yard for a more energetic pet that may need lots of exercise? Are there children in the home that may agitate a more reserved pet? Any allergy concerns to breeds with shedding hair? Researching different breeds can help you determine what type of pet you may look for depending of your family circumstances.

So before you find the perfect pooch for you and your family, research can ensure an easy transition for both parties. But, this is just the first step in adopting a shelter pet. Once you find the perfect match, planning a visit, preparing your home and creating a routine are also key factors during the adoption process.