You’ve decided to adopt a dog. Congratulations! It will be one of the most rewarding relationships of your life.
There are, however, a few questions you should consider before completing an adoption. Let’s take a look.
Can your current home accommodate the dog that you want to adopt?
For instance, if you are renting your home, are dogs allowed?
Is there an outdoor space for your dog? Will you have to share this space with others who own pets.
Consider the size of the dog. A big dog will need a bigger space both inside and outside the home.
Do you have the time to care for a dog?
If you adopt a dog you will have to commit to spending time with them. How will this impact your work hours? How will this impact your social life?
While most dogs are ok spending a few hours each day on their own or in a crate, some are not. And you’re not likely going to be able to take a day trip and leave them for 18 hours.
You need to realize that your dog will have an impact on your time.
Do you have other pets?
If you have other pets, you need to think about how they will interact with your new dog. Some dogs are great with other animals and others are not.
The same goes for other types of pets. You may want to have a dog owner friend stop by and see how your existing pets react. That may tell you a lot about how they will be with your adopted dog.
Does anyone in the house have any health issues or allergies to dogs?
One of our friends here at The Dog Nest has a child with a terrible genetic disease. The child was actually slightly allergic to their first dog. While it was not severe, the family decided to find a new home for the dog because the child just didn’t need another health issue to deal with.
You have to consider everyone in your home. To be sure, everyone in the home should spend time with the dog you are wanting to adopt. Some breeds shed more and cause a larger problem for allergies than others.
Do you have small children in your home?
Most dogs are great with kids. However, when you adopt, you don’t know the experiences this dog has had with humans.
You want to make sure the dog is going to interact well with your kids. At most shelters, dogs are evaluated for temperament and behavioral issues.
How will you handle travel with your dog?
Not all dogs travel well. You will have to have a plan for when you travel. Traveling with your dog can be stressful. For tips about traveling with your dog, check out our article here.
Whether it’s a work trip or a vacation, you’ll either need to find a qualified boarding facility or perhaps a friend or family member to care for your dog while you’re away.
Have you considered the cost of owning a dog?
Owing a dog also comes with financial responsibility. Some of the costs, right away, will likely be an adoption fee and possibly pay to have the dog spayed or neutered.
There are a lot of ongoing costs as well. Food, licensing (most municipalities require a license for your dog), routine veterinary care, collars, leashes, ID tags, and grooming both at home and professionally.
This is just a start. Other things that may bring about cost are a crate, a bed, toys, training classes, as well as costs associated with any accident or medication.
Know going in that you will have costs and be prepared for them.
Supplies you might need when you bring your dog home
Food and water bowls
Food (canned and/or dry)
ID tag with your dog’s name and your phone number
Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
Doggy shampoo and conditioner
Nail clippers (you can hire a groomer for this as well)
Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
Brush or comb (depends on your pet’s coat length and type)
Plastic poop baggies
Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
Variety of treats (such as small cookies, larger rawhides, etc.)
Being a dog owner will be one of the most rewarding things in you life. They become a part of your family and there is nothing you won’t do for them.
Be certain you and your family are ready and enjoy you adopted friend.