Deciding to adopt a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life – and theirs, too! Pairing up the perfect canine friend can provide endless unconditional love, fun, adventure and laughter no matter your age. While these sound inviting to jump right into both feet forward, there are important factors to be considered when adopting a dog.
Where your newly adopted dog calls home can make or break the deal. Verify pet restrictions with rental leases, landlords, homeowner associations and local city/town ordinances prior to adopting a dog. Ask about breed specifics, size regulations, and number of pets permitted. Even if you have an existing pet, rules and restrictions can change without notice. Verify first!
Consider the space you have available. Dogs require room to explore, sprawl out and relax, exercise and play throughout the day. Space is vital to a dog’s health and well being. Walks in the park or neighborhood are great. But what about those days when the weather is inclement? Or, when your time is more limited than most and he’s a pent up ball of energy? Having yard space or a fenced yard is certainly a plus!
Time & Attention
Dogs require your undivided time and attention daily for basic health and care including food and water, grooming, training and affection, exercise and playtime. Our canine friends need us rain or shine, in illness and in health, and even when you’re trying desperately to study for that final exam or complete that project for work. Be prepared to spend a bare minimum of two hours each day with them to provide proper care. Energy levels will vary with every dog – depending on breed, age and disposition. People’s lives change over the years with commitments to their jobs and family. So, choose a dog you’ll have adequate time for even after unforeseen life changes.
It’s no secret we choose pets that look and act like us. Personalities that mesh with you and your immediate family – even compliment and inspire you – are the best. Four-legged best friends have inspired us to lose weight, socialize and have boosted confidence! But remember to take the bitter with the better. Adopting a dog is a commitment where giving up should never be an option. Its takes proper training and hard work. And nobody’s perfect!
Speaking of personalities…not all pets and children like each other. Proper introductions of children and other pets are imperative and should be done prior to adoption under strict adult supervision. Failing to do so – or pushing a bad situation – is a recipe for disaster. Ask about the dog’s known history if one is available.
Before you adopt, you should consider if you can afford a dog. To do this, shop around and tally up a realistic cost of necessary pet care items and services. According to the ASPCA, be prepared to spend $1,471 minimum the initial year for a small dog – fluctuating greatly with your choices, service and product upgrades, and unforeseen accidents.