If you’re thinking of adopting a shelter dog, you about to em-bark on a journey that can bring amazing happiness to you and to your new furry family member. However, in order to experience the joy that a dog can bring to your life, it’s important to be realistic.
Many fine furry friends are returned to shelters because their families were not prepared for the reality of sharing life with a dog. If you take a good look at your needs and expectations before you adopt, then you are well on your way towards choosing the perfect pooch for your family.
5 Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Shelter Dog
1. What Kind of Dog is Best for You?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right dog. Think about your lifestyle and activity level. Are you looking for a dog with lots of energy, or would you prefer a dog who just wants to cuddle on the couch? How about the size of your home and yard? Are they large enough to accommodate the dog you are considering? The staff at the shelter will be able to assist you in finding a dog whose size, age, and personality fits your needs.
2. Can You Afford to Care For a Dog?
Costs of dog ownership go far beyond the initial adoption fee. The cost of having a dog in the first year can range anywhere from $700 to $2,000! And even after the initial expense of purchasing items such as crates, food and water dishes, leashes, bedding, grooming supplies, and id tags, you still need to be prepared for the routine costs of caring for your pooch.
Throughout his whole life your dog will continue to need high-quality food, routine vet care, and toys to keep him entertained. Depending on the breed, he may also need regular grooming. If you plan to travel without him, you’ll need to factor in the cost of doggy hotels or house sitters. You will also want to plan for unexpected medical expenses. Many dog parents purchase pet insurance so that they are prepared in case of an emergency.
3. Do You Have Time For a Dog?
Dogs are social creatures, and they need lots of love and attention to thrive. They also need regular exercise to stay healthy. Does your work and social schedule allow you to give a dog the attention he needs to be happy?
4. How Will a Dog Fit in With Your Family?
Dogs can bring so much joy to a home, but they introduce a fair amount of dirt and hair into the house. There is also the possibility that they may chew shoes, toys, or even furniture. If you or another family member are intolerant of dirt or mess, this is something to consider seriously before adopting a shelter dog.
Does anyone in your family have allergies or other medical conditions such as asthma? How will they be affected by sharing a home with a dog?
If you already have pets, it’s important to think about how they will be affected by the arrival of a new pooch. After all, their happiness is your first priority! Nervous cats, territorial dogs, or pets with certain medical conditions may not make the best house mates for a new pet.
5. Are You Ready For a Long-term Commitment?
Depending on the age of the dog you adopt, you could be committing to 10, twelve, or even more years of caring for your pooch’s happiness. What this means is that, long after the initial novelty has worn off, he will still need your time, love, and attention. If you have children, your dog will still be looking to you for care after they have left home.
Check out this paw-some info-graphic from Greyhounds As Pets in Australia for more helpful tips on adopting a dog.
Adopting a shelter dog can be one of the best decisions you can make. You’re opening yourself up to the joys that a dog can add to your life, and you’ll be saving your dog’s life as well! If, after taking a realistic look at your needs and circumstances, you decide that the decision to adopt is right for you, then you’ll be entering into this experience prepared to give your pooch exactly what he needs. And you’ll be rewarded with the unconditional love and loyalty of your new furry friend!