13 things you should do immediately after adopting a pet, according to an expert

Adopting a pet is an exciting and rewarding life decision. It’s also a tremendous responsibility.

When you choose to bring an animal into your home, you are making a commitment to provide for them for the rest of their life.

Depending on the type of pet you adopt, you’ll likely have to make some major changes in your life to welcome your new friend into your home.

Knowing what to expect during those first few weeks can make the process a little easier. INSIDER reached out to Kelly DiCicco, the manager for adoption promotions at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Adoption Center to learn how people can be best prepared to ensure the post-adoption period a smooth transition for everyone involved.

Whether you’re a first time adopter or bringing another animal into your home, here are some tips on what you should do immediately after committing to your new pet.

Talk with the shelter about the pet’s personality and other needs

Before you leave the shelter, DiCicco advises talking with the staff and asking as many questions as possible about your new pet.

“When you adopt a homeless animal, the local shelter will usually note the personality traits of dogs, cats, or other animals in their care and inform potential adopters of these characteristics,” she told INSIDER.

Knowing this information ahead of time allows you to be prepared for what to expect once you bring your pet into your home. For instance, you’ll want to know if your animal has any social or aggression issues so you can look for the appropriate training program.

“Don’t forget to ask plenty of questions about the animal’s energy levels and habits before making a commitment to find a match that best fits your personality and lifestyle,” DiCicco said. “When adopting from a shelter, you often have the opportunity to learn more about the animal you are considering bringing home, including their background, energy level, and how they might get along with other animals in the house.”

If you know a little bit more about them, you’ll probably be more patient with them, too.

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