Meet Before You Leap by Jennifer Scarlett, D.V.M

‘Tis the Holiday season again, when friends and families gather, memories are made and the spirit of giving is ever-present. It’s a time for people — and pets — to come together. The gift of a new home for an animal in need can be a great way to embrace the holiday spirit. But before you stick that shiny red bow on your new puppy’s collar and snap next year’s Christmas card photo, there are some critical steps when adopting a new pet which must be considered.

The most important step in the adoption process is research. In any case, meeting a potential new pet in person and making sure they are a good fit for you and your family is crucial to the adoption process.

Adoptions happen for a variety of reasons. Some people have a particular type of animal in mind — a certain size dog or hair color, for instance. Others want to give a second chance to a special-needs animal. In any case, meeting a potential new pet in person is crucial to the adoption process.

That’s why shopping for a companion animal online is never a good idea. Just like in the dating world, photos can help, but can also be a bit deceiving. We have found that many would-be adopters look on the Internet for their new pet and are sometimes far too willing to order an animal based solely on a photo and brief description. This type of purchase inevitably lends itself to a handful of questions: Is my new pet healthy? Does it have chronic behavioral issues? Will it have long-term psychological damage? Who am I even adopting from? And most importantly, did I purchase this dog from a puppy mill?

Read the rest here:  Jennifer Scarlett, D.V.M: Meet Before You Leap.