Adopting a new member of your family can be very exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if you are ready to take that big step!
Am I ready to take on this financial responsibility?
The adoption fee is the cheapest thing you’ll spend on your dog. Veterinary visits, monthly preventatives, random visits to the vet for illness or injuries, food, bedding, toys, and pet fees all add up and need to have a spot in your monthly budget. Providing this care for your pet is very important for their health and wellbeing, and something you need to be prepared for even before you adopt.
What kind of dog is right for me? Puppy, adult, senior, or special needs? What about breeds?
All of them require time and patience. Everyone loves puppies, but also consider your lifestyle and what would be a good choice for you. Do you want a dog that likes to snuggle up on the couch with you all day? Consider an older dog if that is what you envision.
Breeds should also be considered and chosen with your lifestyle in mind. Working dog breeds will require a lot more exercise (physical and mental), and other breeds were meant to dig holes, herd sheep, or guard... these are all things that need to be considered when deciding on a pet. Research more about their traits to make an educated decision.
Will I make time to train, walk, groom, and play with my dog?
Be realistic with yourself – are you really going to take the time to walk every day to tire out your dog? Many things should be taken into consideration – long haired dogs require more frequent grooming, younger dogs require more playing and walking time, ALL dogs require daily training and exercise.
Will I be able to find temporary housing or boarding for my dog if I go out of town or move?
A pet is a forever family member. If a vacation or moving without your dog is a higher priority than keeping them, you may not be ready to adopt a pet. Look into the cost of boarding facilities in your area before adopting so that you know what to expect. Do your research and visit different facilities to see what suits you and your dog’s needs.
Will my new dog get along with my other pets or family members?
Many shelters and organizations give the opportunity to do a meet and greet with your family and other pets. Take advantage of that service! It’s very important that everyone can get along and have a harmonious and safe environment at home. Adopting a pet is a decision that impacts your whole family. Be sure to talk it over and have everyone's approval before adopting any pet.
Updated May 2020