Is a Dog Right for You and Your Family?
Despite the allure of a puppy or dog that literally begs you with its inviting eyes, it’s essential that you think about all aspects of dog ownership, for everyone involved.
Will You Be a Perfect Dog Owner?
There are many things to think about before taking the plunge to adopt. Are you equipped to have a total change in lifestyle? A dog needs you for everything, including food, shelter, potty breaks, exercise, and more. Your schedule will totally change to meet your dog’s schedule and needs. Think carefully about each of the following points.
- Are you in it for the long haul? Dogs can live up to 15 or more years and they deserve your commitment once you have adopted them.
- Do you like being “attention”? You are “it” for your dog, so are you ready to accept sloppy kisses and jumping all over you?
- Can you deal with messes of all kinds?
- Do you mind having your favorite shoe dragged all over the house?
- Are you ready for the influx of new, dog-related expenses?
- Would cuddling with your dog on the couch be your favorite time of day?
Do Your Homework
There are myriad things to consider in deciding what type of dog you want to adopt. Some of these things include:
- Shedding or non
Many people want to adopt younger dogs or puppies, and because of their age and relative cuteness, they are adopted quickly. Have you considered looking at an older dog? These pups typically spend more time in the stressful shelter environment waiting for their perfect home to come along. Somehow, these older dogs “know” you have saved them and become completely devoted to you forever.
One big caveat: don’t expect to get the “perfect” dog that meets all the factors on your wish list. Instead, be prepared that the dog you adopt will indeed end up to be the perfect dog for you.
Where to Adopt a Dog?
These days, many dogs are available for adoption, but your best bet for a successful outcome is to adopt from a reputable shelter or rescue organization. It’s horrible to imagine, but there have been cases where “healthy”, “well-trained” dogs have been adopted, only for the adoptive owner to discover the dog was ill or aggressive.
One thing is for sure, though, animal shelters and rescue groups check their credentials and legitimacy with local and state authorities before proceeding.
If it is a certain breed you are interested in adopting, there are multiple breed-specific rescues in every state, and a Google search or query to your vet or a local shelter can point you in the right direction. If you don’t care about a specific breed, your local shelter may be your best adoptive bet.
When looking at potential adoption rescues or shelters, do heed the following red flags:
- It does not allow pre-adoption day visits to see if the dog and you are compatible.
- It won’t take the dog back if the adoption doesn’t work out.
- It allows puppies less than 8 weeks to be adopted.
- It doesn’t provide a vaccination record, which probably means the dog has not been (fully) vaccinated.
- Dogs are not spayed or neutered before being adopted.
- It pushes you to make a quick decision.
- Doesn’t respond to your emails, texts, or phone calls in a timely manner.
- Something about the shelter or rescue just doesn’t “feel” right to you.