There are many benefits to having a pet in your household, including increased exercise, boosted empathy levels, and unconditional love. But choosing the right pet for your ohana comes down to what best fits your family’s lifestyle. Make sure you are committed long-term to your pet’s welfare and needs. Choose a reputable animal shelter or rehoming organization that can answer questions relevant to your home situation, lifestyle, and the type of pet you want. Adding a pet to your ohana can be very fulfilling, but it’s a decision that should be thoroughly thought out. Here are 2 important considerations before adopting a pet.

  1.  Lifestyle. Whether you are active or not; there is a pet that will fit your lifestyle. Consider your activity level, the type of home/space you have, time availability, and your physical or financial abilities.
  2. Children and Pets. Pets teach valuable life lessons like responsibility, compassion, and patience; but the whole family must be active participants for the pet’s welfare. It’s important to teach children to safely handle a pet, educate them on pet behavior, and maintain a regular schedule for you and the pet’s wellbeing.

Here are a few things to be mindful of when considering which type of pet:

  • DOG: If your family is active and willing to work together to fulfill their many needs; they’re a great choice. Will require attention, exercise, and training. Puppies have endless energy, and primarily eat, potty, sleep and yearn to please. Ideal for active families with lots of time and available space. Senior dogs often have lower energy and require less supervision.
  • CAT: More independent and seek attention on their terms. Cats use a litterbox, are social, and enjoy a good snuggle. Kittens require more attention and have lots of energy. Ideal for busy lifestyles. They enjoy alone time but want attention when you get back.
  • Guinea Pigs/Rabbits: Require specific handling for their safety but it’s easy to learn. They are quiet, don’t take up much space, and are social. Bunnies can roam the house too and can be litterbox trained. Ideal for the less active and apartment living.

Adopting isn’t the only way you can add a pet to your home. Maui Humane Society offers a “Paws to Adopt” program, a 10-day trial period to ensure that the pet is best for your ohana. Additionally, fostering is completely free and doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. Visit or come by the shelter 11am-5pm 7 days a week to find the purrfect furry family member for your ohana.