If you’ve always to get a dog, you must have come across all those #AdoptDontShop signs and may be wondering if it’s a good idea for you to get a new dog. Well, it most definitely is. You will not only pay less than you would have had you bought one from a pet shop, but you will also (and most importantly) save a life. You must have heard about how dogs that don’t get adopted oftentimes get euthanized. And instead of getting a loving home, they end up dying alone. Which is heartbreaking for all dog lovers out there.
Even if you feel ready to take the leap and adopt a dog, it’s important to do some prep work before you stroll into your neighborhood shelter to get one. While it’s great that you want to give a dog a second chance at finding a loving family, there are some key details you will have to iron out first.
1. A Pet will Change Your Life. And You Have to be Ready for This.
If you’ve never done it before, adopting a dog will be one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have. While impulse adoption often happens and they are sometimes very successful stories, it is not always the case. Did you know that for every 10 dogs being adopted, one is returned to the shelter within six months of adoption?
To avoid having to take the difficult decision of returning your dog, think about your lifestyle. Do you have time to accommodate a new dog? And if you do, what kind of dog is best suited to your lifestyle and personality? Try to think about your character, your current living situation, your future plans, and potential commitments. While it’s always fun to have a young pup full of energy, running around the house, your lifestyle might be better suited for a gentle senior dog. Also, remember that having a dog also involves finding potty training them, taking them on regular walks and regularly cleaning after them.
2. Finding an Apartment that Allows Pets Is Your Responsibility.
Do you know what’s the most common reason for giving up a dog? The answer is quite easy. Actually, it is in the sub-title itself. Yes, you guessed it.
“My landlord said I’m not allowed to have a pet.”
It’s unfortunately very common for people to give away their dogs to shelters when their place of residence has a no pet policy. If you want to be a responsible pet owner, you will make sure to check the rules of the complex where you are living. Even if they say they are pet-friendly, they often have restrictions when it comes to certain breeds or certain sizes. It also means you will have to be ready to keep your dog in mind when apartment shopping.
3. A Dog Is Like a Child. When You Are Adopting, It’s for Life.
The biggest issue when it comes to adopting is that people don’t see it as a life commitment. They all love to have a dog around until the dogs are too hard to care for or are getting too old for them. Below are more common reasons given for giving up a dog:
i. The pet owner is moving to a new home that doesn’t allow dogs.
ii. Taking care of the dog is becoming too expensive to handle.
iii. The owner already has too many pets in the house.
iv. My future spouse doesn’t want a dog or doesn’t like dogs.
v. I’m pregnant and I’m scared of having a dog around my baby.
You need to remember that adopting a dog means taking care of the dog for their entire lifetime. It is a commitment, and if you are not ready for such a commitment, it might be better to not adopt immediately and wait until you are.
4. You Pet Needs to See a Vet Regularly.
Just like human beings need to see a doctor regularly, so does your pet. Especially if you are adopting. Unfortunately, your dog may have been exposed to a disease or a virus in the shelter or rescue kennel from which you are adopting. This is quite common and is even more of a reason why you need to take them to the vet.
In addition to getting a general health check, you’ll also need to take them to the vet to get them neutered and have a microchip implanted under their skin.
5. Learn to Decipher Their Language.
Finally, but not less important, is the need to understand the body language of dogs. The more you learn about it, the easier it will be for you to train them. You will also be able to assess their level of happiness, know when they feel threatened and know when they want to play and be able to take action accordingly. Through this, your dog will come to trust you and you will be able to create a stronger bond with them.