Looking for the perfect canine companion is an exciting endeavor. And while there is no way to guarantee behavior in a dog, there are considerations when picking a pet that can help increase the chances of a successful adoption.
Prior to adopting a pet, take some time to consider the following:
- Every dog is different. Research the breed that interests you. The better informed you are regarding the physical and mental demands of the breed, the less surprises you will have down the road. Check out the breed’s temperament, potential health issues, and exercise requirements prior to adoption.
- Time management: Do you have the time for a dog? Realistically, you will be changing your schedule and daily routine around your new dog’s needs. You may need to come home for lunch, hire a pet sitter or drop your dog at a doggie daycare. And age matters. Puppies require much more supervision than an older dog. Puppies are a full time job! Are you ready and able to provide the needed time.
- Money: Dog’s cost money. Grooming, vet bills, monthly heartworm pills, food, treats and training. It all adds up.
- Grooming: Long hair, short hair, no hair? Decide ahead of time if you can live with the hair and if you can, how much hair can you live with. Most dogs shed, it just comes with the territory. Many dogs require professional grooming. Are you able to provide that for your dog?
- Size Matters: All puppies are cute and those pesky behaviors of “jumping, running around the house, and pulling on the leash” are usually acceptable with dogs under 20 pounds. However, it is a different story when it comes in a 50-100lb package. Consider the size of the dog PRIOR to adopting.
- Household dynamics: Is everyone in the house on board with the dog’s adoption? Parents can expect the kids to be excited about the new puppy/dog for about 2 weeks and then the honeymoon will wear off. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are adopting a dog for your kids. Is everyone excited and prepared and capable of helping? Are there elderly, young children or senior dogs living in the house? Will the new dog bring additional, unnecessary stress on household members? Timing is everything. Ask yourself if this is really the best time for an addition to the family.
Adopting a pet should not be a casual decision. The more educated your decision when adopting a dog, the easier the transition into dog ownership will be. Research, preparation, and timing are all important factors in a successful pet adoption. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way in helping to provide the right home for the right dog. And the right home for the right dog is a forever home!