Things to know before adopting a pet in the Philippines


No matter which animal they are, pets are well-loved by many. While it’s completely acceptable to buy a pet, adopting one may be your best bet if you’re willing to open your home to stray, abandoned, or mistreated animals.

Here are 8 things to know before adopting a pet from going to trusted shelters to dealing with the process of pet adoption.


1. Do the research first 


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Image credit: Andrew Neel/Unsplash

When you’re about to learn or do something for the first time, it’s only natural that you do some research first to gain more knowledge and insight.

Some of the things that may be useful to search are pets’ behavior, habits, and environment compatibility. For example, if you adopt a cat, know that scratching is their way of strengthening and sharpening their claws. You can train them to scratch only in a certain area in the house or build a scratching post so that your furniture remains intact.

Also, when it comes to adopting pets that may have gone through abandonment or mistreatment, you can dig deeper and learn more about how to properly deal with them. For example, if a dog has separation anxiety, it’s good to give it some exercise such as running to help it relax before you leave them alone at home or with someone else.

What’s more, practicing this routine assures the animal that you mean no harm and that you’re there to spend time with them.


2. Search for trusted shelters or organizations where you can adopt pets


Things To Know Before Adopting A Pet In The Philippines - shelters and organizationsPAWSsion Project animal shelter.
Image credit: Aleish D

Search for legit shelters or trusted organizations where you can adopt pets. More importantly, make sure to go to places where the animals are being treated well and looked after so that you get to take home a healthy and happy pet.

shelters and organizations - trusted associations
PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center.
Image adapted from: Angelo Cruz and Sherwin Tolentino

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) in Quezon City is a trusted organization, that shelters both cats and dogs, arranging for adoption and low-cost clinic services. Here you’ll be able to find the right pet for your family, as they have quite a number of cats and dogs that you can interact with.

Fuzzy Bunny Ph is a platform building a shelter for rabbits. Currently, they are putting up images of rabbits that are up for adoption as well as fostering on their social media. Also, on their site, you can learn more about how to properly care for rabbits and what supplies they need.

PAWS/PARC

Address: Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights 1108 Quezon City
Opening hours: Mon–Tue, Fri 10am–12pm, 1pm–5pm | Thu, Sat 10am–5pm | Closed Wednesdays and Sundays
Email: [email protected]

PAWS’ website | Facebook

Fuzzy Bunny Ph

Email: [email protected]

Fuzzy Bunny Ph’s website | Facebook | Instagram


3. Go to several shelters instead of just one before you adopt


Things To Know Before Adopting A Pet In The Philippines - go to several shelters
Lara’s Ark event with PAWSsion Project (left) and retired military dogs at Hound Haven Philippines (right).
Image adapted from: Lara’s Ark and Hound Haven Philippines

Finding the perfect pet for yourself is no easy task. Like many, you may change your mind once you’ve seen more than one potential pet. So go to several shelters instead of just one and spend some time with the animals to see which one you vibe with the most.

By going to several shelters, you’ll also get to interact with lots of unique animals with their own skills and characteristics. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a learning experience to see the inner workings of a shelter or pound. You can even end up adopting more than one, especially if you love animals.


4. Make sure that you’re 100% certain about adopting a pet


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Image credit: Neil Ryan Famoso Saraña/Pexels

Adopting a pet is no joke. If you’re thinking of getting one, make sure that you’ll be 100% dedicated to taking care of it. Along with that, make sure that you regularly spend time with them daily not just to bond, but also to ensure their health.

Remember that a pet is not a stuffed toy that you can ignore if you get bored with it. Once you get a pet, you become responsible for its overall well-being.

When it comes to dogs, aspins (askal in Filipino) are the most common breed in shelters. They can make great pets as they’re affectionate dogs that can live up to 20 years.

It’s important to take note that feeding portions for dogs change as they grow older. For an instance, if you’re adopting a year-old aspin, then feeding it once or twice a day is enough. And if the dog is younger, say three to six months old, then it should be fed three times a day.

Additionally, knowing how to carry, do checks for fleas and ticks, and arranging for exercise for pet dogs are some of the other factors to consider.

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Image credit: umit ozbek/Pexels

If you want to adopt a cat, then you’ll want to know that cats need daily grooming, especially if they’re long-haired. Although they’re known to be independent, cats still need a fair amount of human companionship. Additionally, be prepared to clean and empty litter boxes or trays daily.

As early as four to six months old, they need to be neutered or spayed to prevent illnesses such as uterine infections or prostate problems. Spaying of female cats will avoid unwanted behaviors when they’re in heat and neutering male cats prevents territorial marking and fighting with others.

Feeding is also another factor to consider as cats are natural carnivores. They need the nutrients that are found in meat that vegetables won’t be able to give them.

Other factors to consider are regular vaccinations for cats to avoid feline diseases and providing them with their own space or shelter in your home.

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Image credit: Aswathy N/Unsplash

An alternative to naturally carnivorous cats, adopting a rabbit might be a good option if you like small pets that take up less space in your home. You only need to provide them with fresh vegetables, fiber-rich pellets, water, and most of all, hay, as most of their diet revolves around it. You’ll always need a sustainable amount of fresh hay to maintain their gut health and keep their teeth strong.

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Image credit: Coaly Bunny/Flickr

Rabbits are constant chewers or nibblers so when you take them home, make sure that you’ve made all the necessary precautionary measures of protecting anything that’s within their reach such as wires or thin plastic pipes. Also, rabbits get bored easily. Building a cardboard castle is one thing you can do as they’ll have free roaming space and all the cardboard to nibble on for quite some time.

Because rabbits are considered prey animals, hiding any signs of illness comes as second nature to them to convince predators that they’re not a target, so it’s important to remain observant and study their behavior to understand them better.


5. Check the cost of adopting a pet


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Image adapted from: Bonnie Kittle/Unsplash and Felice Wölke/Unsplash

Buying a pet doesn’t come cheap. Although it’s cheaper, adopting a pet still has its price, so it’s necessary to check the cost of adopting a pet.

While adopting a pet can only range from P500-P1,500 (~USD8.94-USD26.82) in the Philippines, in the long run, you’ll likely be spending money on clothing, shelters, cages, check-ups, and shots that can cost up to P50,000 (~USD894.08) overall per year.

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Image credit: Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash

Also, you might want to try getting insurance for your pet if it’s available. Like people, pets come and go. When they pass away or if ever anything happens to them, you can at least get some of your medical expenses back from the insurance.

Unfortunately, pet insurance in the Philippines is only limited to canine and feline pets at the moment. Depending on the insurance company, starting prices can cost P2,500 (~USD44.72) per year.

Some insurance companies for cats and dogs:

Malayan Insurance’s website | Facebook | Instagram

PET Insurance’s Facebook

Standard Insurance’s website | Facebook | Instagram


6. Find a local veterinarian


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Image credit: Karlo Tottoc/Unsplash

It’s useful to find a local veterinarian in case of emergencies such as when your pet suddenly has a seizure or if they choke on something. Having a local veterinarian also means that you won’t have to repeat check-up details of your pet as he or she would already have kept records of them.

It’s also good for your pet to have the same person checking on them for comfort and familiarity.

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Image credit: Ksenia Chernaya/Pexels

As previously mentioned, check-ups for rabbits are a bit more complex than with cats or dogs. As they tend to conceal whatever illness they might have so humans may not notice, it’s advised that you find a veterinarian that specializes in rabbits’ behavior and their daily habits.

Make sure that your pet’s still eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating regularly. If you notice any changes, contact a professional right away.


7. Contemplate whether it’s a good time to adopt a pet


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Image credit: Kenny Eliason/Unsplash 

Like most things in life, there’s a right time for everything, including when to get a pet so it’s good to contemplate whether it’s time for you to adopt a pet. Jot down the pros and cons of adopting a pet.

Financially, you can adopt a pet if you have spare funds for it. However, it’s probably best to get one at a later time if you have any priorities that need attention.

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Another one of the things you’ll have to think about is your lifestyle. Think of your living situation and your habits. You can most likely get a pet if you’re a homebody, working from home, and if your home has enough space for your pet to play and roam around. However, if you’re always traveling, live with other tenants in a building, or have a small space, then it probably isn’t the time to get one.

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The people around you should also be a factor. If someone in your family is allergic to animal fur, then you may want to refrain from getting a pet. This also applies if anyone in your family has a fear of animals or needs a constant quiet space without barking or meowing.


8. Treat your pet as if it were a child


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Having a pet means that you become a parent and that you are responsible for the well-being of your pet for the rest of its life. You have to clothe, feed, nourish, teach, have them checked up, and the list goes on. Like with children, you have to be patient throughout the process from start to finish – with teaching them to understand you, and at times, disciplining them when they get rowdy – in order to communicate with them better.

Since having a pet is a lifelong commitment, learning is an on-going process. Research is only the first of many lessons that you’ll have to learn once you get a pet. When you successfully adopt one, you’ll then have to learn a lot more than just the basics. In any case, the easiest way to learn is to observe how they behave and go with the flow.


Adopting a pet in the Philippines


While adopting a pet may seem daunting, taking the time to research and prepare everything for a future pet, in itself, already makes you a responsible pet owner.

As long as you’re passionate about wanting to adopt a furry companion, go for it. What’s more, it’ll cost you less and you’ll get to save an animal’s life.

Also check out:


Cover image adapted from: Aleish D, Daria Nepriakhina/Unsplash, and Angelo Cruz

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