There are many things to consider before getting a dog or puppy. First off, they are much more than a fun and cute companion to play with only when you are bored.
Dogs and puppies are caring, sensitive, and trainable beings that when raised right, can be your lifelong best friend who will be there to comfort and protect you through many milestones. If you think you are ready for this step, here is a handy guide to adopting a dog.
Questions To Ask Before Adopting A Dog
Before anything else, you must first address the following questions to ask before adopting a dog,
- Are you ready to take care of another living thing? To feed them, play with them, comfort them, and keep them clean?
- Do you have enough space to raise a dog? Does your home have a yard, or apartment have enough room?
- Do you travel a lot? If so, do you have someone who can look after them while you are away?
- Puppies are more time-consuming than people realize; do you have enough time for them especially while they are young?
- Are you financially capable or have a steady source of finances to feed, shelter, and bring the canine to the vet when needed?
- Do you have the necessary supplies on hand?
- Is this an impulse or is it something you have carefully thought about?
- Do you know what breeds are best for you?
Ask The Adoption Group or Shelter:
- How old is the puppy? Puppies should not be separated from their litter too early as this can cause developmental problems. It is best to adopt them when they are between 8 to 12 weeks old.
- Have they been socialized with other humans and dogs? This will help you better anticipate the puppy or dog’s personality and reaction when around new people or other animals.
- What vaccines have they gotten and when are they due for their next round of shots?
- Have they been dewormed?
- Have any of the puppies from the litter been sick and has the vet checked them? This will help you know if they have any sickness or have a high chance of getting sick.
- What are they currently being fed? Whatever the puppy or dog is accustomed to, it is ideal to continue this while they are adjusting to your home. This lessens risk of gastrointestinal distress and anxiety.
- What documents and support can you provide me?
How To Adopt A Puppy
#1 Know where to adopt one responsibly. Adopting a puppy or dog pertains to going to the shelter, and not purchasing them from other sources.
While you may be tempted to drive to the pet store or contact a breeder, we strongly advise you to consider going to the shelter first. Shelter dogs are growing up without families and will soon be put to sleep if they are deemed unwanted because of age and other factors. Pet stores and breeders are infamous for having dogs reproduce at an unhealthy pace, causing much distress and medical conditions to the canine.
#2 Prepare the necessary things and funds to take them home. Once you bring them back to your place, it is best to already be prepared to take them in. This means getting them food, preparing a place to sleep, deciding on a vet, choosing a collar, and having a comfort item such as a toy.
#3 Securing their papers, vaccines, and deworming. Get all the necessary documents agreed upon between you and the shelter or organization. This could include their vet card, list of medications, birth certificate, and whatever else is agreed upon. If they have not been dewormed or vaccinated, we suggest prioritizing that for both the dog’s and your safety. Also, if you are not planning on raising their puppies, it is important to get them spayed or neutered as well.
#4 Do not be afraid to seek help. Watching training videos, reading on tips for adopting a dog, asking friends who have pets, consulting with the vet, or even contacting where you adopted them from are all okay and highly encouraged.
What Do I Need To Adopt A Dog?
One of the important questions to ask before adopting a dog is if you have the necessary supplies on hand. Here is a handy list of things you may need to purchase and prepare:
- Dog food, or the food that they have been accustomed to at the shelter
- Dog toys
- A veterinarian you are comfortable with
- Dog leash and collar
- Finances set aside for vet emergencies, grooming, and dog food
- Name tag or schedule to microchip them at the vet. These two options are both great for including your dog’s name and also contact information they can call should your dog get lost.
- Dog nail cutter, toothbrush, shampoo, and towel – unless you are opting to take them to the groomers for all this.
- A designated place to give them exercise such as a backyard, neighborhood, or park.
- A comfortable orthopedic dog bed.
Other Tips For Adopting A Dog
Keep an eye on what they eat. A lot of common food items can be dangerous for dogs, such as chocolates and grapes. They tend to grab random things and may end up with a candy bar in their mouth so be sure to keep those out of reach and observe if they are eating something you did not give yourself.
Puppy-proof your home. Puppies are incredibly curious, playful, and always seem to be teething. This makes them want to chew on, dig, and play with many things so be sure to secure your valuables and breakables. Best to also keep sharp objects, electrical wiring, chemicals, and the like at bay.
Train them young. For a happy and behaved dog, train them ASAP by setting rules, boundaries, and rewards.
Give them plenty of affection. Being around you will be a huge part of their day. Be sure to pet them, cuddle with them, and play with them daily.