Is adopting a dog the right decision for you? Here are the Top Five Questions to ask yourself before adopting a new furry member to your family.
If you are considering the adoption of a new member of your family we have five questions to ask yourself to see if it is the right decision for you.
Who could resist a cute face, big bold eyes, and floppy ears?
Adopting a dog is a very exciting time but can also be a complicated process. To make sure you’re choosing the right pet for you and your family, there are some questions you’ll want to ask before adopting your newest family member!
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
1. Do I have the means, space, time, and the ability to care for a new pet?
Go through your day from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep.
- Can your life and your home accommodate a new family member?
- Is it safe to walk a dog in your neighborhood?
- Is there a dog park nearby to help your new pet get socialized?
- Can you afford the day to day costs of pet ownership like food and supplements?
- Can you afford an unexpected expense like an illness or accident?
- If there’s any doubt about these questions, you might not be ready to be a pet parent.
2. Am I prepared to train a new pet?
Your new dog will be confused about where it is and what to expect from you. Setting up some clear structure with your family for your dog will be paramount in making as smooth of a transition as possible. Even the most docile and well-behaved animals will have to learn a few rules in their new home. Training requires repetition and patience. You will have to be prepared for all the changes that could come from adopting. Choose a training style, communicate it with your family, and stick with it. Expressing anger and frustration will only frighten a new pet. Calm consistency is needed.
3. Is my whole family on the same page regarding the rules, limits, training, and caregiving responsibilities?
If kids or spouses will have different roles in caregiving, make the roles clear from the beginning. You could even consider making a game of it, especially if children are involved. If there are multiple people involved in your household, one option could be to write up a contract of pet duties and have the whole family sign it. Do you believe the dog is allowed to have people food, or whether or not the doggie is allowed on the couch? Questions like this should be discussed.
4. Do you know anything about the dog’s history?
Shelters will often have some idea of where a dog was or what their life was like before they landed in the shelter. Those details may help to inform your decision. If there’s no history, but you like the dog, don’t fret. Getting to know the dog one-on-one in a couple visits will be enough. Seeing, how it acts around other dogs, it’s jumping frequency, excessive barking are all things to look for.
- What is this pet’s story?
- How did it end up in a shelter/rescue?
5. Is my physical space safe and ready for a pet?
It is important to understand how much space your pet requires for outside exercise, their own personal space for a crate or their bed and a place to eat. You will need to take this into account when considering the size of dog you can comfortably accommodate. When bringing your furbaby home, be sure to move all your breakables out of harm’s way and pick up any objects or toys that don’t belong to your new dog. It’s better to set them up for success, especially in the beginning.