What questions would you like to ask before adopting a domestic animal?
Liliane Ferron is a volunteer for the national league for the protection of animals in Luxembourg. For the past 20 years, she has dedicated her afternoons to people wishing to adopt a pet. We asked her what criteria should be considered before adopting.
”This is the top criterion. If you work outside of your home, estimate the time you’re away from your home including commuting time. Because a dog should not be left alone for 8 to 10 hours without being taken out to do its business, Obviously, for a cat it’s different” explains Liliane.
Educating your dog can be a time-consuming experience. Is this your first experience with a dog? In such a case, Liliane strongly recommends using a dog school or approaching a dog coach to work with you to introduce some basic rules to your dog. For example, how to behave properly while on a leash and to remain calm in the presence of another animal, etc.
In addition, there is the issue of children. Shelter dogs have had a previous life. Some of them may have been abused, which makes them particularly sensitive to certain behaviour even if it’s harmless. In such cases, the dog is not compatible with children. If you are adopting a puppy from a breed, you should also opt for a dog breed that is known for being adapted to living with children: Labradors, golden retrievers, bobtails, collies for example.
Contrary to common belief, having a garden is not compulsory. It is important that you are able to take your dog out for a walk several times a day.
Certain breeds however should be avoided if you live in an apartment. “The Husky is very popular with its beautiful blue eyes. However, it’s a dog that requires a great deal of exercise. In the region of 10 to 20 Km per day... Without outdoor space, there’s a chance it might turn your apartment upside down!” warns Liliane.
You should also bear in mind the expenses that will be incurred with the arrival of a pet. Food, boarding costs when on holiday, healthcare costs etc. The costs could be up to hundreds or even thousands of euros each year.
The landlord’s permission
If you are a tenant, the owner of your home has the right to refuse pets. “Not many people are aware of this, especially those who weren’t born in Luxembourg” explains Liliane, which means that tenants should check with landlords to make sure pets are allowed before taking a pet on.
In summary, the animal shelters pay particular attention to providing you with guidance throughout the adoption procedure. Consequently, in the animal sanctuary that Liliane works in, the animals and their foster family are given an adjustment period of two to three weeks before the adoption agreement is formalised. “We prefer for people to return the pet to us quite quickly if adjustment is deemed too complicated” explains the volunteer.