Pet Adoption Checklist: Preparing for Your New Best Friend

Considering adopting a shelter animal into your heart and home? Read the following Pet Adoption Checklist so that you can be prepared and find the perfect match!


Are you ready to bring a new pet into your home and are considering adoption from an animal shelter?  Adopting a shelter animal can be so rewarding and you are helping in more ways than you realize.  And if your mind is set on a pure breed dog or cat, look on websites like www.petfinder.com and you can search by the exact breed that you love and find many animals just waiting for you to adopt them! 

When you choose to adopt a shelter animal, realize that you are truly saving a life!  You are a hero to that cat or dog and your positive action is responsible for allowing them to continue living a happy and fulfilling life. If that isn’t satisfaction enough, I don’t know what is!  And as if you needed another reason, another plus is that you also gain a best friend!

If you decide to adopt a shelter animal into your heart and home, please check out the friendly furry faces just waiting to meet you at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter (see link below)!  Also, please read the following Pet Adoption Checklist so that you can be prepared and find the perfect match!  Remember, adopting a pet is a commitment and should be for the life of that animal and your home should be considered their forever home.




  • Do you have any other pets and how will they react to a new pet?
  • Is your current residence suited to the pet you're considering?
  • How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for a pet?
  • Do you have a plan for your new pet during vacations and/or work travel?
  • How do the people you live with feel about having a pet in the house?
  • Are you (or your spouse, partner or roommate) intolerant of hair, dirt and other realities of sharing your home with a pet, such as allergies?
  • Do you or any of your household/family members have health issues that may be affected by a pet?
  • What breed, or species, of animal is the best fit with your current lifestyle? (Research breed personalities before you adopt.)
  • Is there tension in the home? Pets quickly pick up on stress in the home, and it can exacerbate their health and behavior problems.
  • Is there an adult in the family who has agreed to be ultimately responsible for the pet's care?
  • What do you expect your pet to contribute to your life? For example, do you want a running and hiking buddy, or is your idea of exercise watching it on TV?
  • If you are thinking of adopting a young animal, do you have the time and patience to work with the pet through its adolescence, taking house-breaking, chewing and energy-level into account?
  • Have you considered your lifestyle carefully and determined whether a younger or older animal would be a better match for you?
  • Can you train and handle a pet with behavior issues or are you looking for an easy-going friend?
  • Do you need a pet who will be reliable with children or one you can take with you when you travel?
  • Do you want a pet who follows you all around the house or would you prefer a less clingy, more independent pet?



  • What size dog can your home accommodate?
  • Will you have enough room if your dog grows to be bigger than expected?
  • What size pet would suit the other people who live in or visit your home regularly?
  • Do you have another pet to consider when choosing the size of your next pet?
  • How big a pet can you travel comfortably with?



Here are some examples of the typical costs of owning a pet.  Some expenses are mandatory for all pets, including:

  • Food
  • Routine veterinary care (including initial spay/neuter)
  • Licensing according to local regulations
  • Collars, leashes and identification tags
  • Cat litter and box
  • Basic grooming equipment and supplies
  • Unexpected costs: Accidents and illness can result in costly emergency veterinary care or long term medications.
  • A pet with special physical or behavioral challenges may require specialized professional support to overcome any obstacles these issues present.


Other expenditures (Recommended):

  • Permanent identification, such as a microchip or tattoo
  • Training classes
  • Additional grooming supplies or professional grooming (depending on your pet's needs)
  • Spare collar or leash
  • Bed and toys
  • Crate or carrier
  • Treats



Pets need to be fed a few times a day and need a constant supply of fresh water.  A responsible pet owner should spend at least one hour per day giving direct attention to their pet. This may include training, exercising, grooming, and playing or, with cats, may just be lap time on the couch. Dogs will need to be taken outside several times a day to relieve themselves. 

A few other considerations, depending on what type of pet you adopt, could also include a pet with an abundance of energy which needs more time to exercise and interactive toys to keep them entertained.  Pets with long coats may need daily grooming to prevent matting.  Pets with certain medical conditions may need additional attention, including specifically timed injections in the case of diabetic animals.  Remember that adopted pets may need additional bonding and reassurance time in the early weeks to help them adjust to the new surroundings and experiences.



201 Pompton Plains Crossroads

Wayne, NJ 07470

(Located off Route 23 North; take the Jackson Avenue exit)

Website:  www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ516.html

Phone: 973-694-0767

Fax: 973-616-1270

Email: animalshelter@waynetownship.com



Check out the link below to see the many loveable furry friends awaiting adoption at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter!  Many of these animals have very sad stories of abandonment and have been waiting at the shelter for a long time, but they still hold out hope for a second chance to get out of their shelter cage one day.  At the Wayne Township Animal Shelter we are committed to finding our dogs and cats loving forever homes which means matching them with the right owner. 



CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR ADOPTABLE ANIMALS HERE:  www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ516.html

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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