Are you considering getting a pet? Or are you looking for a good home for your pet that you need to give away? Are you worried that you or whomever adopts your pet, won't be a good pet owner? Here is a test you can give any potential pet adopter or take yourself. If they pass, you can be assured that they will provide a good home for the pet.
Ask them to take the following 10 question test:
Is the home one where everyone treats the pet kindly, with love and respect, and is willing to use new gentle training techniques and preventive measures to prevent problems and to develop a happy relationship with the pet? This includes positive teaching methods (not punishment-after-the-fact), and the proper use of confinement. A Good Home doesn’t use Pain to Train. A Good Home works to understand their pets. The Good Home protects the pet from the naive but sometimes dangerous or painful abuse of small children and the intentional teasing or cruelty of older children or adults. A Good Home protects its pets from being hurt or frightened by other pets or animals. Yes_____ No_____
Is the home one where the pet, and all other pets at the home, are spayed or neutered between 8 weeks and five months of age, or as soon as the pet is acquired? This is done for both the health and the behavior benefits. Pets who have been spayed/neutered at a young age have fewer health problems and have better social skills that help them to interact positively with other pets and with people too. This also ensures that the pet will never ever add to the tragic overpopulation crisis of dogs and cats, which is the cause of immense suffering and unnecessary deaths of pets.Yes_____ No_____
Is the home one where the animal lives as an inside pet? Dogs and cats are companion animals and should not live outside away from their people. An inside pet is safer, happier, healthier, and you will be able to appreciate it more as you will spend more time with the pet. Pets left outside are in danger of theft, abuse, neglect, disease, distress caused by insects and other animals, extremes in weather, and accidents. The health of outside pets is much more difficult to monitor. Outside dogs often become unmanageable because of loneliness and boredom and become neighborhood nuisances and hazards. Yes_____ No_____
Is the home one that can afford the time and is willing to spend the time that a pet requires? Training, exercising, grooming, feeding, cleaning of cat boxes or scooping the yard, and veterinarian trips to keep the pet healthy and comfortable, all add up to many, many hours a week; but pets need and deserve it. And don’t forget that important time—the time being the pet’s friend and companion. Yes_____ No_____
Is the home one that can afford and is willing to make pet care expenses a priority? Expenses such as regular and emergency veterinarian care, quality food, housing fees, licenses, grooming, boarding, extra cleaning costs, supplies, crates, and carriers often amount to $100’s, even $1,000's a year. Proper pet care is not cheap. Yes _____ No_____
Is the home one where the primary caretaker is a responsible adult? A pet’s care and training should not be left to the whims of a child, even an older teenager. When a pet is added to a family with children, we recommend that non-pet chores, such as vacuuming, dishes or laundry, be assigned to the child(ren), and that the pet care be provided by adults, guaranteeing the pet the daily care it deserves. A Good Home makes arrangements to have an adult provide care for the pet during vacations or other times when the owners are unable to provide the care. Yes _____ No _____
Is the home one where the pet wears identification at all times, in the form of collar-and-phone number tags and a readily traceable microchip and/or tattoos? A good home obeys licensing laws. A good home will immediately search for the pet if it would become lost or stolen. This includes advertising in daily newspapers, leafleting and posting signs in the neighborhood, taking time off from work, walking through area pounds and humane societies, and notifying neighbors, animal control, and the police. These steps can require many hours, and considerable expense, but are the actions to take to ensure the return of the lost pet. A Good Home understands that dogs and cats are similar to small children. They never “run away” from a Good Home, but they certainly can wander away or become lost or be stolen, and need the adult humans to immediately work to find the pet that has “gone missing”. Yes_____ No_____
Is the home one that obeys the leash and licensing laws, and is a good pet neighbor? This means not allowing the pet to stray onto the neighbor’s property or into traffic and includes cleaning up after the pet and preventing nuisance barking. A Good Home does not allow pets outside unless accompanied by a human and adequately restrained. A Good Home does not allow their pet to become a danger to humans or other pets. A Good Home provides for the pet’s safety by not transporting it in the back of an open pick-up truck unless it is in a crate and never leaves a pet alone in a parked car. Good homes keep cats safe by always transporting them in carriers whenever they are outside the home. Yes ____ No____
Is the home one that gives the acquisition of a pet much thought and discussion, realizing that it is a commitment for the entire lifetime of the pet, possibly lasting 10, 15, even 20 years? This means not just keeping the pet, but providing a Good Home for the pet’s entire lifetime. If you suspect that future changes may prevent you from making a long commitment, please consider adopting a middle-aged adult or senior dog or cat. An older pet often has a difficult time finding a home and will not have changed as much if you become unable to own it in the future. Is your home one where, if at some point in the future you would become unable to provide a Good Home for the pet, you will find another Good Home for the pet? This would include planning ahead, doing research into the potential homes, getting veterinary references on the new Good Home, and continuing to provide a Good Home for your pet while in the process of finding another Good Home for the pet. Yes_____ No_____
Is the home one that will not allow the pet to suffer when there is no hope for the pet to live without suffering? This means working with a caring veterinarian to determine when and if a pet should be relieved of suffering through euthanasia. Sometimes it is the last, best, although most difficult gift, we can give to our beloved pets. Yes_____ No_____
If you can answer “Yes” to all these questions, you passed the Good Home Test. Congratulations! Now, go adopt a pet, save a life, and give that pet a Good Home!
Require the new owner to provide you with veterinary and personal references, so you know that you are placing the pet in a home that has a history of providing proper care for a pet, a Good Home.
If you cannot provide a Good Home for a pet, please do yourself, your neighbors, animal shelters, and the pet a favor and do not get a pet anywhere.