10 Really Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Adopt a Dog
Adopting a dog is not an easy decision. There are a lot of things that you have to consider first before you decide to get one. You have to be fully prepared before you get one.
You may be a pet owner after adopting a dog, but in reality, it is more like becoming a parent. You need to attend to all his/her needs and be there in every step of the way.
Thus, before you finally adopt a dog, here are some questions you really need to consider.
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Why do you want to get a dog?
You need to ask yourself first why you are really interested in getting a puppy. Is it because you have lost an old pet or it has just died and you need a replacement? Do you just want something to kill your boredom? You need to answer this question so that you can make the best possible decision. Getting a puppy is not like buying a toy that you can easily throw away when you’re done with it.
Enough time to take care of the pet
It is not easy taking care of a dog. You have to attend to all its needs. You have to make sure there is enough food and water. The dog also has to get enough exercise, both physically and mentally. If you have kids to take care of and a full time job, do you think you can still take care of a dog? If you don’t think you can, perhaps it is not in your best interest to adopt one.
Research dog breeds first
Not all dogs are the same. They have different needs and personalities. There are dogs that are tamer and are usually quiet. Some others are more aggressive and are fond of barking. There are others that look really cute, but are high maintenance. Therefore, it helps if you research first about dog breed before you decide which one is perfect to be your pet.
Check if you have allergies
There are people who are allergic to dogs. If you are one of them, then it could be a problem. Babies and toddlers are also more sensitive. They easily get allergies when placed next to dogs. The good thing is that there are dog breeds that don’t cause as much allergies as the others. Though a hypoallergenic dog does not necessarily exist, there are those that don’t shed that much hair or saliva, triggering allergies. Poodles and shih-tzus are among the best options.
Determine if you are allowed to keep pets
If you own a house, you can set your own rules. Usually, those who live in a residential area are allowed to take care of pets provided that they are responsible enough in raising their pets. However, if you live in an apartment or condominium, you need to check the terms and conditions first. Usually, pets are a big no. There are others with more flexible policies, so you can choose those places.
Prepare to treat dogs like a family member
Having a dog at home is not just like having a pet. It is more like having a new member to the family. You need to take good care of it. Feeding the dog is not the only thing that you have to do. You should also spend time with it. You have to walk around the park together. You need to see the vet for its regular checkup schedule. You have to be prepared to allot enough time to raise the dog.
Determine the amount you are willing to spend
Dogs are usually high maintenance. You have to spend money for food, health care, shelter, and other emergency needs. There are dogs that can easily finish whatever you give them to eat. Therefore, you need more supply of food for them. It is important to make sure that you are willing to set aside your personal income to raise them well. As they grow older, they will have more needs. This is just like raising your own child. The good thing though is that dogs don’t have to be sent to schools.
Find out if you can train the puppy
Training the puppy is way more difficult than potty training your kid. They are adorable, but seemingly impossible to deal with. Communicating with them is extremely difficult. They also need more attention. They don’t think the way humans do. It means that you need to spend more time and repetitive actions. You need to spend the first several months teaching them how to follow instructions before they can do it right.
Consider your holidays
During normal days, you are at home so you can easily take care of your pets. However, there are times when you have to leave home for a trip. Usually, you would spend it with your entire family. If you are just driving to your destination, perhaps you can bring your dog with you. If you are flying, bringing a pet could be more challenging. Therefore, you need to plan your trip in advance and include your pets while planning.
Dog breeder ethics
You need to make sure that you are getting puppies from the right source. There are dog breeders that follow the ethical standards in raising dogs while others don’t. You can check out The Human Society of the United States to find out if you are partnering with the right dog breeder. If you are adopting dogs from a commercial facility, have to find out how dogs are being treated there. You should check if the place is overcrowded, unsanitary or is practicing abusive policies. You can’t tolerate these places. Therefore, not adopting from them would be the best option.
Once you have taken all these things into consideration, you can go ahead and adopt a dog. You have to be 100% sure of this decision since you are dealing with a living organism and not a toy.