Adopting a dog is a big responsibility. It’s not something you should just do on a whim. Here are some good questions to ask yourself (and be honest with yourself about) before adopting:
- Are you willing and able to keep your dog for it’s entire life? It varies depending on breed and size, but the average lifespan for a medium size dog is 10-13 years according to the American Kennel Club.
- Is there anything that may come up in your life that would make it difficult for you to keep your dog? Some examples being moving, job opportunities, changes in family (having children, getting married, etc).
- What will you do with your dog when you travel? Even if you don’t think you will travel, it’s always good to have a plan just in case. Will you put them at a boarding facility? Keep in mind boarding dogs tends to cost $20 or more per day. You could also hire someone, have a friend or family member come check on them, or maybe have a friend or family member who will take them to their house while you are gone.
- Are you able to afford regular vet visits, vaccinations, etc? Check ups can help identify a potential health problem before it gets more severe.
- What will you do if there is an unexpected expensive vet bill? Accidents happen, and even healthy dogs can get sick or injured.
- Dogs always need time to adjust to a new home. Are you willing to take the time to teach them the rules of the house, and will you be okay with them possibly having a few accidents while they are settling in?
- Do you have the time for a dog? They will require being let outside multiple times per day, and if they have a lot of energy, you will need to take the time to use up that energy.
- Are you able to dedicate a few hours every day to take care of a dog? Especially when you first bring them home, even adults with some training will need to learn the rules of their new home.
- Are you able to establish a training and exercise routine for your dog that you will be able to stick to around work, weekends, and even holidays? Even low energy dogs and those with some training will still require some of your time and energy to work with.
- Are you able to take the time it takes to properly socialize your dog, especially if you adopt a puppy? All dogs need socializing otherwise they are not likely to get along with kids, new people, or any other animals.
We are by no means trying to talk you out of adopting a dog, but it is a very big commitment, and something you should really think beforehand. It’s much harder on dogs to be adopted then returned to the shelter, so it is really important that you are sure you are ready to adopt before taking home a new pet. We understand that sometimes adoptions do not work out, which is okay, but it is heartbreaking to see a dog come back to the shelter after doing nothing wrong simply because the owner was unable to handle having a dog or something forseeable came up.
Source for this section and more great information on whether or not you are ready to adopt a dog can be found here: https://familypet.com/ready-to-adopt-dog-pet/?fbclid=IwAR0zz3Y0o5aMrS-Sw6l9TE6hpFKrSlcytMVVht21zE2uoSSQ4AWaM9MN9lw