How to Find a Pet

The physical and emotional health benefits of living with a pet are well-documented: relaxation, decreased blood pressure, companionship and many others. Many households consider their pets to be family members. Finding the right pet requires careful consideration, for your sake and for that of the pet.


  1. Image titled Find a Pet Step 1
    Confirm that all members of the family agree on the decision to buy or adopt a pet.
    • Adding a pet to the family involves a commitment of years or even decades.
  2. Image titled Find a Pet Step 2
    Talk with a doctor before you adopt or buy a pet if any family members have allergies.
  3. Image titled Find a Pet Step 3
    Evaluate your lifestyle and determine the amount of daily care you are willing and able to devote to the pet.
    • Consider the ages and activity levels of family members.
    • Dogs will require walking and exercise, training, feeding and grooming. Fish need other types of maintenance, such as aquarium cleaning and careful attention to temperature. Each type of pet will have unique needs to be considered.
  4. Image titled Find a Pet Step 4
    Consider financial and other limitations.
    • Research typical veterinary, food, grooming and other expenses, which are generally far more than the initial cost of buying a pet or adopting one from a rescue group.
    • If you do not own your home or apartment, be sure that your landlord allows pets. Think about whether you are likely to move to a place in the future that may not allow pets.
  5. Image titled Find a Pet Step 5
    Learn about the type of pet you are considering.
    • Talk with other pet owners, read about pet care, visit pet adoption clinics and dog shows, cat shows or 4H shows.
  6. Image titled Find a Pet Step 6
    Decide whether you will purchase or adopt a pet and where the pet will come from.
    • If you know, for example, that you want a small dog, you may find a pet through the local shelter or humane society, through an Internet search of national pet-adoption agencies or through a breed-specific rescue group or a breeder.
    • A good breeder or rescue group is concerned about the welfare of the animal and of the family and will work to make sure that you adopt or buy a pet that is a good match. Find one that will accept the return of the animal if the placement or purchase is not successful for unforeseen reasons.
  7. Image titled Find a Pet Step 7
    Prepare your home and family for the pet.
    • Obtain items such as food and water dishes, a cage, pet beds and toys, an aquarium and filters or whatever supplies are needed. Have these items on hand before you buy or adopt a pet.
    • Clarify what the responsibilities and schedules of all members of the household will be after you find a pet, such as feeding, litter box cleaning and dog walking.
    • Find and speak with a veterinarian who is experienced in caring for the type of pet you plan to get. Tell the vet that you are trying to find a pet and ask his or her advice on sources and preparations. Plan a visit to the vet for an initial appointment as soon as possible after you adopt or buy a pet and bring it home.


  • You may want to adopt a pet that is full-grown. These pets have often been house trained, or may have lived in a foster home that will have helpful information about the individual animal.
  • Your rescue group or breeder may not immediately have the pet you are looking for, but will work with you to find a pet for your family.


  • Most animal experts advise against purchasing pets from pet shops. Animals sold in pet shops are often from mass-breeding operations where little or no attention is paid to temperament or the long-term health of the animals being bred. These animals frequently are less socialized than pets obtained from a humane society or breeder. Adopt or buy a pet after careful consideration and research, not on impulse.

Article Info

Categories: New Pets