New adopters in Ontario should carefully consider their situations before adopting a pet to ensure they can provide appropriate care, including training time, socialization and veterinary care. People adopting dogs, cats or birds shouldn't have visitors for a few days after adoption to allow the animal to get comfortable in its new home.

Adopters with multiple pets may need to take special precautions. If the adopters already have dogs and are adopting a new dog, they may want to plan for reasonable weather so they can introduce the dogs in a neutral setting, such as a park or street. This helps prevent territorial aggression. If the adopters are bringing a new cat into a household with multiple cats, they should plan on locking the new cat in a bathroom or spare bedroom to allow the cats to smell each other under the door for a day or so.

Ontario has many animal shelters and rescue groups from which to choose, so picking the right one is important. Municipal shelters are run by the local government and deal with strays, owner surrenders and seized animals. Adopters who choose a private rescue should make sure it is a legitimate rescue group by asking about by-laws and policies and inspecting the facility to ensure it is clean and well-run. They should also ask veterinarians, trainers and other professionals about the group's reputation.