Questions to consider before welcoming a pet into your home

Some families might consider pets as holiday gifts, and even Maryland’s incoming governor Wes Moore said he has promised his children a puppy.

But before making a commitment to add a pet to the family, here are some things to consider first.

“We really take a conversation-based approach to our adoptions process,” said Amanda Novotny, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County, Virginia, animal shelter.

“We just talk to people what species would best fit their lifestyle and then within that species, what individual animal are they most interested in potentially adopting.”

Ideally, anyone who’s going to be living in the house with an animal should meet the pet before the adoption happens.

“We encourage people who have dogs at home already to bring their dog in to meet the potential new doggy sibling to see if they get along. We really have a comprehensive adoption package here at the shelter,” Novotny said.

You can see video on how to choose a pet on the county’s Department of Cable and Consumer Services.

“Will you be able to live with pet hair, a litter box, or the occasional wear-and-tear caused by pets?” the video’s narrator asks. “Will everyone in your home welcome an animal?”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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