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Thinking About Adopting a Pet? Read on for important tips!

Thank you for considering adoption! There’s nothing like the feeling you’ll get when you give a pet a second chance at life! The first few days in your home will be both special and critical for you and your pet. With advance planning and by understanding what to expect, you can make it a smooth transition for everyone.

Home Sweet (and Safe) Home

  • Try to keep your home calm and predictable when bringing in a new pet -this is not the time to throw a party or travel!
  • Pet-proof your home by putting toxins & dangerous foods out of reach (and tempting shoes too!).
  • Give your pet time to adjust. Don’t be alarmed if he/she has accidents, whines, hides, or seems fearful during the adjustment period.
  • Keep pets and children safe. Never leave a pet unattended with children (or another pet) until you know its temperament. Take introductions slowly.
  • Make sure your pet is microchipped & registered, and has a secure collar with an ID tag, just in case you are ever separated.

Healthy Habits

  • Find a veterinarian who you trust and make an initial appointment to assess your new pet’s health and to discuss any questions or concerns you might have.
  • Regular exercise is vital to your pet’s mental & physical well-being…and it’s good for you too!
  • Spay/neuter all your pets. Your pets will have health and behavior benefits, and it will prevent the chance of unplanned litters.

Training & Socialization

  • Proper training can prevent behavioral issues – talk to your veterinarian for recommendations.
  • Training takes time – don’t expect perfect obedience overnight.
  • Humans need training too! Ensure everyone in your household is on board with the training plan and rules to give your pet consistency.
  • Teach kids how to properly treat & interact with all pets. Never allow a child to tug on, hit, or ride on the back of a pet.

Stock Up!

  • Shop in advance to avoid the stress of arriving at home without the proper items.
  • Recommended items include a leash, collar, ID tag, crate or gates (if needed), bed, bowls, food, treats, toys, grooming supplies, and great BISSELL cleaning products, just in case!
  • Spoil your pet with a cozy bed and fun toys for chewing and playing!


Your pet is counting on you forever! Responsible pet ownership means promising to take care of your pet through sickness and health – in good times and bad – for the entire life of your pet. Please treat your pet’s life with care!

If you adopt at an Empty the Shelters event, we’d love to hear from you. Send your pet’s picture and story to info@bissellpetfoundation.org.