Adopting a Dog: Things to Consider

Adopting a dog is a serious commitment. By bringing an adopted dog into your home, you form a bond with the dog that lasts a lifetime. You must be absolutely certain that you, your loved ones and your household are prepared for this step. Are you aware of what a dog owner has to do, and are you ready to do what it takes to get things done right? In preparation for the adoption, you will need to educate yourself on dog training, indoor and outdoor dogs, housebreaking, training collars, daily care and grooming.

Dog Needs

You will also want to ensure that your daily plans enable you to have enough free time for taking care of your dog each day, including exercise. This is true for puppies in particular, but all dogs require the ability to exercise their bodies in the outdoors on a daily basis.

Make sure that any of your home's kids are there to help take care of the dog. Helping them to understand the duties that come with caring for a dog can help them figure out if they are ready for this.

Dog Supplies

Take all the different expenses of having a dog into account, and make sure you can manage it financially. You will have to deal with medical costs, annual examination and monthly medications.
Dog ID Tag - Have a tag created and prepared for placing onto the collar once you have adopted a new dog. Be sure to have a collar and leash. If you use a buckle collar, this provides the best, safest fit.
Crates will give a dog security and help you with training them. Make an effort to obtain the fold-up wire type. You may also consider buying your dog a bed. There are many types but most are simply variations on a cushioned pad.

Dog Food

Don't forget to get some food and water bowls. Remember to ensure that your dog has all of the basic immunization shots done before coming home with you. Seek out a shelter that offers spaying and neutering as a part of adopting your dog. Solicit the advice of the dog handlers at the adoption center. What does the dog like to eat? Wet food or dry? What types of snack does the dog prefer? You will need to ascertain the answer to these questions before you leave the adoption center.

Adopting a Dog
Adopting a Dog

Dog Breeds

Consider the dog's size. A breed that is too tiny can be manhandled by the kids, but an enormous breed will require quite a bit of space. Some smaller dogs, owing to their active nature, actually would occupy as much space as a bigger dog would. You might want to reconsider if you work long shifts and have a pretty tight schedule to begin with; however, if you really have your heart set on a dog, think about getting a tinier, less active breed. If you are lacking in the time for housebreaking or training, then adopting an older dog would probably be the best choice.


Gather any files on the dog, specifically veterinarian records. Get yourself acquainted with a lot of dogs before settling for one. Spend some quality time with all the dogs you are taking into consideration, and observe how the dog does with your family.

Enforce restrictions on what kind of dog you can bring home with you as far as size, health and breed are concerned, and follow these restrictions. Head out to the adoption center at various times throughout the day, if you can. Become acquainted with your dog in various situations, as this will enable to know him pretty well before taking him home with you permanently. It is very crucial that a first-time dog owner conducts thorough research on learning what kind of care will be required, the financial needs and the best choice of breed for your home before adopting a dog. There are some kids that feel uneasy with dogs, so make sure you incorporate them into the process of picking a dog, if you have kids. You wouldn't want to get a dog that your kids are scared of, or the other way around. Additionally, you will need to locate excellent veterinary care prior to making an adoption. An excellent source for reference would be your friends.
Visit the prospective veterinarian’s office. Observe the staff's disposition, the sanitation in the reception room, the fees schedule and the hours of operation. If you can, ask to talk to the clinic's veterinarian for a short moment to ask any questions you might have in regards to adopting a dog. Making the decision to adopt a dog is going to affect your life for the long-term, so do not take this step lightly. Make sure that you and your loved ones can enforce the needed changes to offer all that your dog will require. Getting yourself ready for this kind of life change will be vital for guaranteeing a prosperous, and joyful, transition.

Dog Training

Consider formal dog training as part of the adoption process. Yes, some dogs will be housebroken, and will understand commands as well as basic human expectations (i.e. the bathroom is outside, and the rug is not a place to relieve oneself). However some dogs may not have been indoctrinated by their former owners, and this could pose a sanitary problem for you. Imagine coming home to find out that your dog didn’t want to hold it and decided to relieve itself on, say, your favorite chair. Not a pretty sight. Simple dog training will handle this. Dog training is a wide subject deserving of its own write-up, but let me add one more thought. Your dog’s social skills, or lack thereof, will have a direct impact on the quality of your life with your pet. If your dog is unable to socialize with other humans or dogs for that matter, a simple walking exercise with your dog will quickly turn into an impossible task. Your dog may refuse to walk. Worse yet, your dog may decide that he or she is the leader of the pack and dictate terms, including direction and speed. Finally, your dog may become aggressive towards other humans or dogs. None of the aforementioned is desirable; in all likelihood, your adopted dog will be just fine. But do understand that no dog is perfect, and that some amount of dog training – behavioral, obedience, or otherwise, may be necessary. Have patience with your newly adopted pal, and he or she will reward you with a lifetime’s worth of memories.

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