Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog By Michael Torres
There are a lot of factors that should be taken into consideration before adopting any pet, especially a pet as complex as a dog. While we could sum up all of these factors into one question "Will you be able to properly provide/care for the dog?", it is worth taking apart this question, and examine all of its pieces.
1. Experience Have you or your family ever welcomed a dog into your home before? If so, what type of breed? Will you and your family be prepared in your knowledge to give this dog the proper care and attention needed for that specific type? First time dog owners should consider a dog that may be easier to handle and train, considering their lack of experience. If you already owned a dog, will you have the patience and knowledge to train this new dog? Preparation is key when it comes to being able to handle a new dog in the household.
2. Family Size/Makeup How many people live in your house? What ages are those people? If you have a young child, what type of dog would be appropriate? A certain type of dog breed may be more appropriate for a family with young or small children. A family with older children, teens, or no children at all may better be able to handle a larger dog breed. And one of the most pressing questions to ask is, if you already have other pets, how will they take to having a new dog added into the family dynamic? Are they friendly or will they eventually warm up, or are they not at all interested in having a new furry friend?
3. Housing Situation/Size/Location How large are you living quarters? How large is your yard? Does it have a fence (electronic or physical)? Are there dog parks nearby/areas for your dog to exercise and socialize in? A smaller dog like a pug would be more suited, or rather, able to adapt to and become comfortable in an apartment environment, whereas a larger dog breed, or a dog that requires a lot of exercise, would be more suited for a spacious house with a big yard that would allow them to run and around and play to their hearts content.
4. Budget (Money and Time) Adopting a dog can be expensive. It is not just the upkeep (food, cleaning, nail trimming, etcetera), and various accessories (leashes, food/water bowls, toys); but there's more. Do you have the money to install a fence in your yard? Do you need to pay for any surgeries or medication for health issues that the dog currently has, and are you prepared to provide funds to alleviate health issues that may arise for that dog in the future? Are you a busy person and will you be away at times? If so, will there be a friend or family member around to look after the dog? Some dogs require more attention than others, but all need some TLC. If you cannot provide the dog a proper amount of companionship, it may not be in either your, or their, best interests to adopt them.
5. Why Are You Adopting the Dog? Is this dog being rushed into a home to fill the void of a recently deceased pet? Is this dog being adopted as a play friend for the children? Neither are the best or worse answers to this question, but it is important to understand why you are bringing a dog into your home. Hopefully, it is to do just that, give them a home, and all that comes with one (companionship, food, etcetera).