Considering adopting a dog for the first time? While it can be fun and exhilarating to have a new pet in your home, there are a few key issues you should look at. But don’t worry, these tips will help make your adoption process easier and give you a better fit for the type a dog you need. In short, determine these factors when adopting a dog:
- Do you want a puppy or an adult dog?
- Shot record and microchip
- Dogs cost money
- The dog’s history and temperament
- Does the dog have medical issues or are prone to medical issues?
- Does the dog seem to gravitate towards you?
Do you want a puppy or an adult dog?
When adopting a dog, consider the age range you would like to adopt. A puppy is going to be more adaptable to their environment. However, they often need training and habit building to the point that it will take you a lot of time and effort. That being said, most dog owners love this process as they become closer with their new puppy and that puppy is much more likely to adapt to the training.
Oftentimes, puppies are much less traumatized than other older dogs that are in the pet care system. Puppies are also much more likely to get along with other pets than an older dog.
On the other hand, a lot of older dogs don’t need to be potty trained. They oftentimes have been trained either by the staff or by their previous owner. Older dogs also tend to be more low energy and can take longer periods without physical activity. On the flip side of this, though, you’ll find that a lot of older dogs have trauma from bad previous owners. This can be a turn-off for some who want to get a dog as some owners don’t want to deal with a dog that has separation anxiety.
Sometimes, these dogs can have behavioral issues. Remember, though, this is a small subset of older dogs. Older dogs can often be great for the elderly because they don’t require as much playtime and often fulfill the role of a companion. They can also be a good pet for those who work often.
Whether you choose a puppy, an adult, or an elderly dog, keep in mind that you want to find a dog that fits your lifestyle and will also be happy in your home.
Shot record, spay and neutering, and microchip
Millions of dogs are put to sleep every year because they do not become adopted. It’s important that your dog becomes spayed or neutered so you don’t contribute to the overpopulation of these beautiful creatures.
Oftentimes, An adoption center will do this for you. In the event that they don’t, make sure to have the procedure done as soon as possible. You also need to get vaccinations for your dogs against various diseases, and for them to be microchipped. According to the AKC foundation, a microchip is heavily important because:
“Unlike a collar, which can easily break, fall off, or be removed, a microchip is a reliable way to get your contact information—as well as vital information about your dog’s medical conditions—and increase the odds he’ll be returned to you if he’s found. “
Consider the medical costs of adopting a dog and ask whether the pet shelter provides any of these services. Making sure your dogs have all their records make you a better dog owner.
If you find a dog that meets all of these criteria, it can help you save money. Speaking of money…
Dogs can cost a lot of money
Between dog food, flea repellent medication, and veterinary visits, adopting a dog can be an expensive endeavor. While it may seem a small price to pay compared to the joy of adopting the dog, those reoccurring costs will add up over time.
If you have trouble paying your bills or don’t have much discretionary income, reconsider adopting a dog. You don’t want to adopt a pet only then to have to return it due to financial struggles.
The dog’s history and temperament
While it is true that dogs can adapt to their environment, a large portion of the dog’s behavior will be based on their history. Consult with any of the pet shelter employees about the dog’s history. Ask questions like:
· Has the dog been subjected to any abuse?
· How does the dog play with others?
· Is it a high energy dog?
· How does the dog interacted with any children?
· Has the dog bitten anyone in the facility?
Talking with the pet shelter workers will clue you in on the temperament of the dog. Also, keep in mind that while dogs do adapt to their environment, certain breeds tend to express higher energy levels. This may mean that you’ll need to let them play for longer hours or walk them more frequently.
Bored dogs stuck at home can often get into trouble. Look at dog breeds before adopting to get a sense of what breeds will fit your lifestyle.
Does the dog have medical issues or are prone to medical issues?
When adopting a dog, make sure to check that the pet does not have any underlying health issues. Unfortunately, if you adopt a dog with health issues it will cost you in the long run. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adopt the pet. Rather it let’s you know what is in store for you if you do.
Furthermore, some breeds are predisposed to have certain medical problems such as Pug. Due to their flat face and nose, pugs often have harder times breathing, and may need surgery in the long run. Keep that in mind when searching for a new furry friend.
Does the dog seem to gravitate towards you?
Finally, when you do visit the pet shelter and meet some dogs for the first time consider how the dog acts towards you. Do they come up to you and want to be petted and try and earn your affection? Are they standoffish and seem shy? Do they bark or growl at you?
Take into account other behaviors and whether the pet seems nervous around people and dogs. Notice if the dog wags his tail or seems to be on full alert. Make sure you are also doing your part to make the dog comfortable by not making sudden movements and speaking in a calming and relaxing tone.
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