If you’re looking to own a pet, but don’t know where to start, Emily Cook from the Humane Society of Charlotte has all the answers for you. Whether you are a dog person or a cat person, Emily knows the benefits of having a furry best friend around the house and how to prepare!

Live Long and Pawsper

Pets are very beneficial to us humans, whether it be for our physical, mental, or emotional health. Physically, pets are affectionate companions and they allow you to get up and go outside, which will help keep you active. Not only can a wagging tail make you smile, but it can also relieve symptoms of stress, depression, or anxiety.

“Whether they’re snuggling with you at night in the bed asleep or they’re just sitting next to you on the couch snoozing, that physical sense of companionship is very beneficial,” Cook says.

Giving your pet a hug helps release oxytocin and dopamine—no wonder we love them so much! Taking care of a pet can also naturally teach critical character traits, such as responsibility, compassion, empathy, and kindness.

How Do I Get Started to Adopt a Pet?

If you’re interested in adopting a furry friend, check out the available animals to adopt. Before filling out an application, you should research the type of pet you want and figure out what best suits you and your home. Head to your local shelter to spend time with the animals that are ready for adoption; you’ll want to be acquainted before you bring him or her home. Once you’ve found your “purr-fect” match, you’re ready to apply and get ready to bring your pet home.

You should be ready for the responsibility, training, financial commitment, and medical needs that come with owning an animal—and the crazy amount of love they will show you!

A House Is Not a Home without Paw Prints

There is a great joy about rescuing a new pet; however, even though bringing a new furry pet home might seem overwhelming, there are steps you can take to remove some of that stress beforehand.

First, you need to get a collar or harness, a leash, food and water bowls, and age-appropriate food for your pet. Don’t forget treats for training! Dogs and cats respond well to positive reinforcement, which is good to know when you are getting them trained for your home.

You should establish an area in your home for your pet, a place where they feel safe and can relax. For a dog, you might have a crate with blankets, or a comfy dog bed set up with toys. For a cat, this could be a crate or a cat tree with holes so they can hide or climb.

House rules need to be decided on before bringing your new companion home: for example, are you going to let the dog or cat on the couch or any other furniture? Will they sleep in the bed at night? Are any rooms off limits? It’s good to have those rules pre-determined (with some wiggle room) because that prevents any type of discord in the future. Communicate these things in your home, so everyone is on the same page when your animal arrives.

Once these things are done, you can start planning for the day you bring your four-legged friend home. Be sure to do this at a time when you know you will be home and able to dedicate time to your new family member to spend quality time with them – it’s a new environment for them, and they need you.

You will need time to house train them and give lots of bathroom breaks so they can learn, and be sure to positively reinforce them! Give yourself a few days to do this.

Check out available animals to adopt here, like Gator, Star, and Rue!

There’s No Pet that Can’t Be Trained. Be Patient!

One key thing to maintain throughout this whole process? Patience. Your pet is new in your home and still learning the rules of the household, so you need to be patient with him or her as time goes on.

Even though the process can be overwhelming, The Humane Society of Charlotte is there for you! Once you adopt through them, you are a part of their family. The HSC is complete with a medical team and a behavioral team who are there to answer your questions and help you. The HSC even hosts a lot of events to keep you and your companion involved and to raise money for their efforts in helping animals find forever homes.

Not Ready to Commit to a Pet? There Are Other Ways to Help

If you want to help the shelter in other ways, you can volunteer, become an iFoster family, or become an Adoption Ambassador. Foster families help care for animals and get them ready for new homes for a few weeks; the pet may be very young and need to get bigger and stronger before heading to their new home, or it might require medical attention before they go home. Adoption Ambassadors, however, foster older animals to be the animal’s ambassador in helping him or her get adopted. The animal candidates for this might need a break from the shelter or need some outside attention, so the Ambassadors are there to take them along to parks, introduce them to others, and spread the word about how the animal is available for adoption.

The HSC is continuously recruiting for more fosters, and if you are interested, you can apply here.

Abandoned, Adopted, Adored.

Bringing a pet home is exciting! All of our new M/I Homes for sale in and around Charlotte are pet friendly. Several of our communities offer parks, sidewalks, and more. Whether you are fostering for a few weeks or planning on forever, here at M/I Homes, we love seeing your four-legged friends happy in your new home with you.



Author

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Melissa Shubin

Author

As Internet Sales Manager at M/I Homes in Charlotte, Melissa’s role is to assist customers with their new home search by answering questions about a variety of topics. With her multiple years of experience in her role, Melissa knows that when customers are searching for answers online, they appreciate a timely response from a real person that is local to the area. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her Yorkie-Poo, Roxy, hiking new trails, and exploring pet-friendly shops and restaurants in the Charlotte area.