Are you thinking about adding a pet to your family? It is a great idea to have a pet. A pet not only makes you happier, but it also becomes friends with children in your home. Pets are known to provide unconditional love and also help in reducing stress levels. There are different pets that you can keep. Each pet has different characteristics and qualities. Depending upon your choice and liking, you can go for the pet that best matches your personality and living style.

If this is your first pet adoption then you are the right place. There would be tens of questions on your mind right now. We know that you are eager to know the answer for all. In this article, we will take you through the complete process of pet adoption. We hope that by the end of this article, all your queries and concerns will be answered and you will be ready to adopt your pet.

Note: North Star Rescue is not providing any pet adoption service now, you should check the pets adoption websites section in this article.

Finding the Right Pet for You

Finding the right pet can be a daunting task. You might end up with a wrong pet if you do not know which pet is suitable for you. Here, we will elaborate that how you can decide that which pet is suitable for you and which is not. We will also highlight the major options from where you can adopt a pet.

The Pet you love

Just like human beings, each animal has a different nature. Every animal that can be made a pet has a different living style and needs. One of the most important factors to consider while adopting a pet is the compatibility. When you are making up your mind to adopt a pet, you need to check its habits. You can do this online, from various pet journals or guides, and by asking the friends or family members who have already kept the specific pet. For Example pets like chinchilla, hamsters, mice, and rats want your attention more than a puppy or a cat. They spend most of their time in cages so they need special care as compared to other pets. On the contrary, dogs and cats are more outgoing and can take care of themselves in the majority of the situations.

Animal Shelters

You can consider the option of going to an animal shelter to adopt a pet. There are a lot of pets at the animal shelters that you can adopt. Rescue groups and animal rights organizations work tirelessly to make sure that all the animals are provided a shelter home. Animal Shelter homes and such groups hold regular events to help you adopt the right pet for you.

Adopting at pet shelter usually costs you less as compared to buying a pet for yourself. The cost usually starts at 50$ and can go up to a few hundred dollars. Shelter homes and rescue group personnel usually ask a lot of questions about your interest for the specific pet. These questions are usually aimed at assessing your compatibility with the pet. The goal is to make sure that you and your pet stay happy after adoption.


Visit the veterinarian in your area. Most of the vet clinics have notices about which pet is up for adoption. You can also ask the receptionist or other members of the clinic to inform you if any pet of your interest comes there for adoption. They can also help you in locating a specific breed option or inform you about the adoption events in your area. Adopting from the vet doctors make sure that the pet is well cared of medically.

Breed Rescue Groups

There are a lot of groups working for the well-being of a specific breed. If you are looking for a particular breed of an animal, then please make sure that its habits and living style is adjustable with your temperament. Most of the people who love a specific breed are either attracted to the beauty or one special characteristic of the animal. If the compatibility is good enough for you to adopt, then you can visit the nearby rescue group. They can also guide you in the adoption process.

Adoption Websites

Adopting a pet from adoption websites is also a great option. This can come in handy when you are unable to find a specific pet in areas nearby you. You can narrow down your options by selecting the breed, age, and gender. Pet adoption websites have adoption shelters listed on their website; they can take you to the exact adoption shelter where the pet you want to adopt is available. You can contact them directly or some websites offer mediation between the adopting party and the shelter. Adoption from other city or state may need some additional travel requirements for your pet, which we will cover later in this article.

These are some of the websites to adopt a pet:

Your Pet may come to you

It may happen sometime that a pet may show up at your doorstep. This is most common in the case of stray dogs or cats. If anything like this happens and you want to adopt this pet, then please check that this pet is not lost. Visiting a vet, in this case, is also recommended to check the health of that specific animal. By providing a home to the stray animal, you are doing a great service by helping the poor soul.

Sometimes, people in your circle are unable to keep their pets due to some reasons. If you adopt a family member or friend’s pet, you are doing a great service to that person and the pet as well. You can ask anything and everything about the behavior of the pet and his living style. They will also supply you with all of the accessories like a cage, food bowl, leash, and other stuff. You can also save the adoption fee, the process of filling the paperwork and the hassle of going through the adoption process.

It does not matter how you find a pet to adopt. What matters is that adoption instead of buying can be a great service. Your pet will show gratitude and affection for his entire life. You can also save some money by adopting and make space for another animal.

Adoption Requirements

After you have selected the pet you want to adopt, there are some formalities that must be completed before the adoption process is finalized. These formalities can be tricky but we will walk you through the process.

Paper Work

After you show the interest in a specific pet, the shelter house will give you a basic pet agreement. This document will contain questions about your personal information, what preparations have you made for adopting the pet. It will ask you about the contact information of your vet and why you want to adopt the specific pet.

Shelters want you to adopt the pet, but they also want that the animal remains in good care and is well provided for. For this purpose, they may be a bit skeptical. You must fill out all the details and be honest with them about answering that why you want to adopt a particular pet.

Paying the Adoption fee

The next step is paying the adoption fee. Shelters and rescue groups charge this adoption fee so they can cover up their expenses for rescue, spaying, vet care and providing pets with food and water.  This fee can vary depending from one animal to another and can be a bit high for a specific breed.

Convincing the Adoption or Rescue House that you can be a Great Family for the Pet

After all the legal procedures are carried out, some shelters prefer to visit your home to check all the necessary arrangements have been made. Make sure that you are well prepared for the inspection. If you are adopting a dog or a cat, your house should be fenced. If you are looking to adopt a chinchilla, rat or a hamster, then the cage should be ready.

Shelters may also ask you some questions like why are you interesting for adopting this pet, what have you done to ensure that your kids will get along with the pet and who will take care of your pet when you are not at home. Make sure that you are well prepared for all of these questions. Cancellation of the adoption process at the last moment will be heartbreaking for you and your family.

Necessary Precautions after adopting a Pet

Adopting a pet is a big responsibility.  You need to make sure that you and your house are pet ready. In this section of this article, we will guide you on all the necessary precautions that you need to take while adopting a pet.


People at the shelter have the record f vaccination of your pet. They will provide you with the details of all the vaccination that have been given to your pet during the stay at the shelter. If you are adopting a pet from your friends or family members, they will also give you a record of vaccination. If any of the vaccination is missing, make sure that you get it done before taking the pet in your home. Pets can develop diseases which can also affect you and your family. In order to avoid any such problem, make sure that your pet is properly vaccinated.

Vet Visit

Planning a vet visit is very important. You can take your pet to a nearby vet for a complete health inspection. This can make sure that your pet is in good health and is ready to mingle with your family and other pets at your place.


Declawing a pet can lead to certain psychological issues. You can consult your vet for this. There are several other alternatives to declawing like cutting the nails, giving your pets a scratching post or soft nail caps. This will make sure that your pets do not scratch you and children. Declawing pets like rats and chinchillas allow you to handle them without getting scratched.

Preparing for the pet cage

You can buy a cage online or look for a cage at shelter homes. Most of the shelter homes sell cages to support their business. Make sure that you buy a cage that matches all the basic requirements. A pet which stays in the cage for most of the day will need ample space and playing accessories inside the cage. This is particularly true for hamsters, chinchillas, and rats.

Pet Food

Shelters can provide you with information about the likes and dislikes of the pet you are adopting. Make sure that you have some alternative foods available for your pet in case they don’t like what you offer.


Fencing is very important when it comes to dogs and cats. Make sure that your backyard and front lawn are well fenced so that your pets cannot escape the premises. Fencing does not mean that you do not have to take your pets outside for a walk. Spending time outside improves the psychological condition of your pets.

Moving day Precautions

If you have adopted a pet from another state or city, make sure that your moving day is well planned. You can plan stops and night stays at hotels which offer pet accommodation. If you have a pet like a hamster, chinchilla or mouse, you can travel a long distance in one go as well. Make sure that you keep enough food for your pet for the travel period. You can also ask someone to tag along the journey to make the pet handling easy for you.

Developing an understanding with Children

It is recommended that you prepare your children before bringing pets into your home. You need to make your children understand that the new pet is a family member. It will pay with them and take care of them (in the case of dogs). Pets with the passage of time will develop an acquaintance with all the family members. It is recommended not to leave dogs and cats alone with your children in the first couple of weeks of adoption.

Some Tips for Successful Habilitation with the Pet

Adopted pets, when given proper care and love, can get along very well with you and your family. Following are some of the tips that can help you in adjusting with your pet.

Care for Them(Socialize)

The first act of love you can do for your pet is to care for them. Show them that your love for them is real. Provide them with good food and a comfortable living space. Interact with them, give them your time, and take them out for a walk or out of their cage to give them some free time. Introduce them to the children in your home and other pets.

Their Home

Pets which stay in the cage for a lot of time are very sensitive towards it. Make sure that you buy a cage that is well supplied for. It has ample space and accessories for your pets to move around. Some of the animal experts are of the view that providing your pets with new food bowls makes them feel alienated. They get along better with used food bowls.


In the first few weeks of adoption, you will need to supervise your pets. Some might require training. Best way to train is your pet is to do it yourself. The training period develops a certain bond between you and your pet and it starts obeying you.

Be Patient

You need to give some time to your pets to adjust to their new surroundings. Depending upon the nature of your pet, the time needed for your pet to come along varies. Your pets may poop on your rugs or behave weirdly. You have to show patience at such crucial times.

Senior vs. Junior Pet Adoption

A young pet may go a long way with you and develop a special bonding with you over the passage of time. On the contrary, senior pets provide unconditional love; they need to be adopted so that they can spend their old age in peace and being loved. Senior pets also do not need training and are comfortable being left alone at home.

Special Needs Pet

While visiting the shelter homes, you might come across some pets with special needs. They might have some physical disability due to which they are never preferred to be adopted. They might require some additional care but they provide the same amount of love as any other pet. If you really want to help a poor animal get a caring and loved home, you can choose a pet with special needs and it will be always thankful to you.


A pet is just like a family member. By adopting a pet, you just saved two lives. One of the pets you adopted and one for which you just made room at the shelter. If you are ready to add some love to your family, then adoption is the way to go. There are hundreds of pets waiting to be accepted in your loving home. Show your love for your pet and choose adoption rather than buying. Share the word in your community and suggest people adopt. Adopting pet saves money as compared to purchasing a pet. Most of the adopted pets are house trained and they get along very well with your family members.

Adopting Pet Rats, Pet Hamsters, Pet Mice, and Pet Chinchillas

All those people who are looking for pets which are small in size, comparatively easy to handle, have a loving and caring nature, the above-mentioned pets are the best options for you. These pets take up little space inside your house, spend most of their time in the cage and get along very well with your family.

Finding Them

Finding them can now be easy for you by using all the adoption options that we have explained for you in this article. Filling the paperwork is the same for all the pets either you are adopting a rat, hamster, mouse or chinchilla. The inspection process is also easy to go through as the most important thing in the inspection is the cage size and pet safety.

Why These Pets

They all belong to the same family. They show little variance in their living style. Rats, hamsters, mouse, and chinchillas are intelligent and sociable animals. You will enjoy their company. They are good at learning their names and please you with their tricks. These pets get along very well with children but their time with children should always be supervised by an adult.

Experts are of the view that these animals should be kept in a pair so that they can develop bonds between themselves as well. Small animals that spent most of their time in cages are more likely to get cranky when they are alone for a long period of time. When you have more than one pet, they can play together and spend some quality time. Please keep in mind that if you are adopting more than one of these pets, then you need to make sure that there is enough space for them in the cage. We will explain the cage requirements in the following portion of this article.

General Care for these Pets

Taking care of these pets is almost the same. There are some variations in how to handle them, cage sizes, accessories, and diet plan.

Handling Them

Apart from chinchillas; rats, mice, and hamsters have the same size. For the first couple of weeks, when your pet is not accustomed to its surroundings, you can keep the cage in a large bin or an empty bathtub. This will not allow them to get lost in your home even if they escape the cage. You can also use a small bucket to bring them out of the cage if they get cranky with you.

Chinchillas are a bit big in size and are very athletic. Their cage is also large in size and you cannot keep it in a bin or tub. You will have to take extra precaution while handling them.


For such pets, a cage is the most important thing in their life. You must select an appropriately sized cage. A cage should allow you easy access to all parts inside. It should be made of materials that are strong and durable. The doors and windows should be sturdy enough to hold the pressure applied by your pet.  Following cage size is perfect for one animal. For each additional pet, you can increase the size of the cage by adding tubes. For this purpose, you will have to buy a cage according to the number of pets you want to keep.

  • Rats, Mice, and Hamsters – For these three animals, a cage with a minimum of 1 cubic foot for one animal is needed. For every additional pet, space must be increased by .5 cubic foot to accommodate them easily. This space may vary depending on how the pets interact with each other. To pick the right one, check out our cage selection guides for rat, mouse, rabbitSyrian hamster, Dwarf hamster and chinchillas.
  • Chinchillas – Chinchillas are more athletic as compared to the other three. They move in a jumping motion and need more space. One chinchilla needs at least a cage with space of 6 cubic feet. Chinchilla cages should be shock absorbent and soundproof. Cages made of heavy metal will not rattle when your chinchilla will jump in it.

Benefits of a Perfectly Sized Cage

Cage size may seem a trivial issue at the moment but it is very important. A perfectly sized cage brings the following benefits with it.

  • It stays clean for a long time and ensures a hygienic environment for your pet.
  • Pets have ample space to interact with each other and can also have some private space.
  • Large space will ensure that your pet remains calm and does not end up chewing the cage or showing obsessive behaviors.
  • A large cage also allows you enough room to add accessories in the cage. Accessories make sure that your pet is kept busy and plays by itself. You can also change accessories periodically to keep the cage environment interesting for your pets.
  • These pets are prone to throw the bedding out of their cage. In order to avoid this, you can have a cage with a deep pan.

Poop Management

There are many cages in the market which have a wired floor. Such cages may seem an attractive option as they allow the pet poop to fall through. However, they can be damaging for the feet of your pet. They can end up breaking small bones in their toes while jumping on wired floors. A solid base floor does not allow the poop to fall through. It needs more time from you to clean it but it also ensures your pet safe.


A combination of ready-made diet and fresh fruits/vegetables are best for these animals. 60% of daily diet can be of ready-made food and rest from the fresh vegetables and fruits. This ensures a healthy diet balance and proper nutrition for your pet. Make sure that you give filtered water to your pet. Remember to clean the food bowls and left-outs on daily basis.

Safety and Health

Chinchillas, rats, mice, and hamsters are very delicate and sensitive pets. They need some time out of the cage to play and stretch their legs. Make sure that their play area is free of anything that they can chew off. Remove all electric wires, small plastic components, toxic plants, and escape points. Make sure not to step on it while you are playing with it.

If you notice any health issues like coughing, sneezing or too much lazy behavior, take your pet to a vet on an urgent basis. Illness in such animals can progress at a very rapid rate and can cause serious problems for your pets.


If you are keeping a male and female pair, then it is very likely that they will mate with each other in due time. There are various accessories available in the pet stores and online that you can provide the female pet during pregnancy. The babies leave their mothers in almost two months and soon require space equal to an adult pet. Make sure that you buy a cage that can provide space for the newcomers as well.


We are sure that after reading our article, all your general queries regarding pet adoption and specifically rat, mouse, hamster and chinchilla adoption have been answered. These animals can be a great companion and provide unconditional love. Remember to adopt, as adoption saves two lives. Share with your community about your adoption experience and urge them to adopt rather than buying.


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