5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting A Dog
Adopting a dog is one of the most rewarding things you can do. But, there’s more to adopting a dog than simply going to the shelter and bringing your new furry friend home.
Before you adopt a dog, here are five questions to ask yourself to make sure you’re ready!
Do I Have the Time?
Whether you are adopting a puppy or an adult, all dogs require time and patience. If you are adopting a puppy, really think about how much time and energy it will take to raise one. Do you have time to house-train them? Are you able to bring them to obedience classes? Are you able to devote time to crate training?
Adult dogs may not require as much time as puppies – especially if they are already house-trained and obedience-trained, but they still do require time! Shelter dogs live in a highly stressful environment and it will take time for them to acclimate to your home. Are you ready and available to devote the time it takes to bringing a new rescue dog home?
Additionally, one of the major reasons dogs are surrendered to shelters is lack of time. If you constantly travel or feel you will be too busy to give your new rescue dog the time it needs, perhaps you should reconsider sharing your home with a pet.
Will a Pet Fit My Lifestyle?
No two dogs are alike. Some dogs are more active while others prefer to lounge on the couch. Before adding a rescue dog to your life, consider your lifestyle. If you don’t have a large backyard or are unable to take an active dog on daily long walks, a dog that requires a lot of activity may not fit your lifestyle. On the flip side, if you are a fairly active person who loves to go on long walks or runs would do well with an active dog.
While it’s nearly impossible to tell the demeanor of a shelter dog from first glance, certain breeds are known to be more active than others. For example, terrier breeds are known to be fairly active and require a moderate amount of exercise. Other breeds – especially smaller ones – may not need as much exercise and would acclimate well in a calmer home.
Are There Other Pets in the Home?
Not every dog gets along with other dogs or pets. Before bringing a rescue dog home, take your resident dogs into account. Shelter staff may have a general idea of which dogs are good with other dogs, but it’s not a guarantee.
If you are interested in a particular dog at a shelter, consider doing a meet-and-greet with your current dog and potential new dog. If the dogs seem to get along, that’s a good sign! However, the house is a different story. Make sure to introduce the two dogs slowly when they get home and allow some time for them to get acclimated with each other. After all, you’re asking your resident dog to share their home with a new friend!
Do I Have the Resources?
Dogs are amazing – but they cost money. Are you prepared to pay for food, toys, treats, and veterinary bills? There will also be adoption fees, which vary based on location and rescue.
Prior to adding a shelter dog to your family, consider your financial status. Are you able to spend between $1,400-$4,300 per year? (www.thesprucepets.com). If not, it may not be the best time to add a rescue dog to your family.
Can I Provide a Safe & Loving Space?
When it comes to shelter dogs, not all of them are happy-go-lucky pups. Some have harrowing pasts while others are scared and shut-down in the shelter – especially adult dogs. (That’s not to say puppies are immune to being scared or having an awful past, but most puppies are just happy to see you!). If you’ve fallen in love with a timid or anxious dog, are you prepared to be patient and provide a loving and safe space for them to trust again?
These dogs may take more time to open-up and be a “dog” again. But once they dog, it’s one of the best feelings in the world!
Adopting a shelter pet not only saves their life but adds immense joy to your life. But, before you add a rescue dog to your family, ask yourself these questions to be sure you are truly ready.