The connection between a person and their dog is profound, unbreakable, and perhaps, indescribable. Dogs have a way of making us feel better, even during our worst days. They love unconditionally, wanting only ever to be close to their owner.
However, as enchanting as this all sounds, there are a few things you should consider before you adopt a dog. Dog ownership isn’t for everyone. Furthermore, even if you are the kind of person who loves dogs, you need to make sure your lifestyle, home, and budget can adequately support a furry addition to your home.
We want to help you make the best and most appropriate decision for your needs, as well as the needs of your new pet. Keep reading for seven crucial questions you should be asking before adopting a rescue dog.
1.Can You Afford the Costs of Dog Care?
You might be ready to adopt a dog, but your budget might tell a different story. If you’re adopting a rescue dog because you can’t afford to do anything else, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. We always encourage people to rescue animals, but if you’re doing so because you’re strapped for cash, you probably don’t have enough money to properly care for the dog.
While we hope this doesn’t come off as an indictment of your personal finances, you must understand the true costs of pet ownership. What happens if your dog breaks their leg, gets in a fight with another dog, or gets seriously ill? You must be able to afford emergency vet costs.
However, you must also consider shots, food, toys, bedding, and outdoor shelters.
2. Do You Have Enough Time and Availability to Properly Take Care of a Dog?
How much attention does a dog need?
Depending on the type of dog you get and their personality, their need for attention can vary greatly. You need to make sure your daily schedule has enough room in it to accommodate a new member of your family, particularly if you adopt a puppy.
Some breeds, like golden retrievers, have the energy to burn for days and need a lot of exercises. Great Danes, on the other hand, make great apartment dogs. Despite their size and athletic prowess, they are relatively lazy animals that like to spend the day sleeping and lying around.
Most dogs, if bored, neglected, or starved for attention will adopt destructive tendencies.
During the adoption process, spend plenty of time getting to know the animal and trying to understand its personality to discover if it will mesh well with the amount of attention you’ll be able to provide. If you don’t have a yard for the dog to run around in, it’s imperative that you take it on daily walks.
3. Is Your Home Set Up for Dog Ownership?
Next, before you adopt a dog, you need to ensure your home is ready. If you’re getting a puppy, it will try to chew on everything it can reach. Some dogs never grow out of this habit.
If you have a yard, this means putting up a fence so your dog can roam and run freely on your property. Using a dog chain is okay for a temporary solution, but isn’t ideal for the long-term.
4. Are There Any Dog Restrictions in Your Neighborhood, HOA, or Renter’s Agreement?
Before you adopt from a shelter, make sure there aren’t any restrictions you would be violating. For example, certain dog breeds are banned in some neighborhoods based on the HOA’s rules and guidelines. Your apartment complex or landlord might have similar restrictions, though these are typically based on the size of the dog.
If you violate these rules, you could face multiple consequences, such as:
- Being forced to get rid of your dog
Do a little extra homework before the dog adoption to avoid unnecessary stress, headaches, heartache, and penalties.
5. Are You Sure of the Dog’s Temperament?
When you adopt a shelter dog, it’s true that you don’t always know what you’re getting into. The dog’s past might play a role in its personality, behavior, and temperament.
Dogs who have been abused are fearful and can be vicious as a method of self-preservation. While these animals need love and a good home, they might not be the appropriate choice if you have children and/or other animals.
You must also consider the other adults, children, and animals who might come in contact with your dog. If it bit someone or killed someone else’s pet, you might be forced to put your dog down.
However, it can be incredibly rewarding to find a shelter dog that needs help and turn its life around. There are amazing dog stories about animals with tragic pasts who make full recoveries and live long and happy lives.
6. Have You Considered How Dog Ownership Will Affect Your Lifestyle?
Before you adopt a dog, you must also consider your current lifestyle and what you’re willing to sacrifice to provide the animal with an adequate life. For example, if you’re asking “How much work does a dog take?” because you work long hours and travel often, you need to find a low-maintenance dog.
If you travel for work or pleasure often and can’t bring your dog, that means asking your friends and family for help. This will be an easier sell if you don’t have a dog that demands round-the-clock attention.
Alternatively, if you have an incredibly active lifestyle and enjoy hiking, running, and exploring on foot, you need a dog that will be able to keep up with you. In this scenario, a pug or bulldog would be a poor choice of companion.
7. Are You Ready to Commit to Pet Care for the Long Haul?
Finally, before you adopt a dog from a shelter or anywhere else, you need to think long-term. Depending on your dog’s breed and its health, it will likely live anywhere from 8 to 13 years. Are you ready for this long of a commitment?
If you’re not sure where you’ll be or if you’ll still enjoy having a dog in five years, dog adoption might not be the right move. Instead, consider fostering dogs who need temporary homes. You can get a feel for pet ownership and get a better idea of whether or not it’s a good long-term commitment to your life.
Are You Ready to Adopt a Dog?
Now that you understand more about dog ownership, are you ready to adopt a dog? If the answer is yes, we couldn’t be more excited for you. On behalf of all the other dog-lovers out there, congratulations!
And if you’re looking for more dog ownership tips, advice, or stories, check out some of our other articles while you’re here. Our blog was created to help people like you provide the best possible lives for their furry friends.