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Lifestyle

Dr. Kwane Stewart shares why you should adopt less-adoptable pets

You’ll want to check out his tips for after you adopt a pet, too.

As pet lovers, it’s hard to believe that some shelter pets are considered “less adoptable.” But unfortunately, factors like age or potential health issues (which can be expensive to treat) make it harder for animals to find their forever homes. 

But Dr. Kwane Stewart, a veterinarian and member of Fetch's Veterinary Advisory Board, debunks that narrative by sharing why every animal deserves a comfortable, safe and happy home. 

Why do you think that it’s a good idea to adopt pets? 

The obvious answer is we continue to euthanize dogs and cats at an unacceptable rate. While we have made some nice gains in the last decade, it will never be OK until we can find homes for every redeemable pet. But also because you’re doing something kind, and that just feels good!

Have you ever adopted a pet? Can you tell us about that experience?

Yes. A few times: two dogs and two cats. They made wonderful pets. The little kitten we named "Sushi" changed me professionally and personally.

Speaking of adoption, is it common for young or certain breeds to be adopted first? 

Yes. Pure breed dogs, especially your Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, as well as small breeds like Chihuahuas and poodles. Naturally, people love to adopt puppies and raise them. But there are also benefits to adopting a more mature pet. 

Is it common for pets to seem “less adoptable”? 

Yes, it can be. For example, some dogs or cats may have behavioral issues or not “show well” when sitting in a kennel. But you’d be amazed at the diamonds in the rough that are waiting. 

You mention pets not “showing well” when they’re in a kennel. What are some other qualities that make pets seem less adoptable?

Pets that seem aloof and less affectionate or animals that are too hyper and jump on people. Unfortunately, our geriatric dogs and cats don’t get the same consideration simply because of age. And, of course, pets with chronic medical conditions like skin allergies, arthritis or diabetes that may require time and money.

Would signing up for pet insurance help adopted pets?

Knowing you have financial coverage in the event of a spontaneous event gives you so much peace of mind. New pets are unpredictable: they eat things they shouldn’t, could run into the street in a flash or develop an unforeseen medical condition. Pet insurance provides support during these stressful moments. 

RELATED: Is your vet Fear Free certified? Here’s why it’s important

Why's it important to adopt less-adoptable pets? 

They need homes and love, too. I believe every pet deserves a second chance. 

Can you share some post-adoption tips for lucky new pet parents?

Acclimating your new pet is always the priority. We want them to feel comfortable and safe. Be patient and use common sense. If you have other pets, introductions in the proper way are important. 

What are some ways that pet parents can help spread the word about a less-adoptable pet?

People, just by their social nature, are great at networking. Spreading the word can be easy when you’re motivated. Share at your social functions like church or your workout group. And there’s always social media!

How can people that can’t adopt pets help out?

Donating time and money is always a great help. You can volunteer to walk an animal shelter's dogs or spend time with the cats. But ultimately, money and resources drive a lot of success.

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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Image source: @drkwane Instagram

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