Four Important Tips for Adopting a Pet

One outcome of Oregon's stay-at-home order is the number of pets that have been adopted while families are stuck at home. Pet adoptions have surged, and many shelters have been emptied of adoptable animals as households are formed with four-legged family members. New and experienced pet owners need to do their due diligence and get their pets seen by a veterinarian in Bend for further examination and learn about pet ownership laws in order to stay in compliance. Shelters do an excellent job of getting homes for pets, but they don't always have the manpower or funds to provide pets with more than basic veterinary care, much less educate new owners on pet ownership laws. Here's a look at some tips for adopting a pet:

Expect the Unexpected From Pet Adoption

Animals living in a communal shelter arrangement may be reluctant to reveal the extent of their personality to an adoptive human. Shelter staff are usually good judges of character as they take care of the animals daily, but it's not always reliable. Some animals may be shy and not willing to express themselves in a community setting but open up and reveal themselves in a less stressful environment. Remember that if an animal picks you, they sense something in you they like and are more likely than not to make a good companion.

Ask About Health Records and History

Shelters keep medical records of the animals they take in and release them upon adoption. Ask questions about spaying and neutering, if heartworm and/or blood tests were done, was the pet treated for flea and ticks, and in the case of cats, if a SNAP test was performed. A SNAP Feline Triple Test is used to detect feline diseases – FIV, FeLV and feline heartworm – with one blood draw. SNAP tests can also be used with dogs to screen for six vector-borne diseases. In the event an older pet that had a previous home is being adopted, ask if any health records were provided when the pet was surrendered.

Check Pet Ownership Laws

Pet ownership laws in the State of Oregon focus primarily on proper shelter, handling and feeding of pets. Animals that spend most of their days outside must have dry shelter, food and water provided to them. The city of Bend follows county and state laws for pet ownership. The state of Oregon and Deschutes County requires dogs to get a rabies shot and have a certificate of proof prior to obtaining a license. State and county require all dog and cat owners to get their dogs licensed when the dog or cat have a set of permanent canine teeth or is six months old. Dogs must be under control of their handler at all times regardless of being on or off the leash.

Make an Appointment With a Veterinarian in Bend

Bringing your new pet in for an appointment with a veterinarian helps you get a solid baseline on their health and physical condition. A veterinarian gives your pet a physical and visual examination, checks adoption paperwork and compares it against the state of your pet and provides insight as to what you might expect from your companion over the years. It's a good way to get a great start on your new life with your new best friend.

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