With overpopulation in shelters and growing numbers of euthanizations, adopting a dog is one of the best things you can do to help with these problems. Before you adopt a dog, you need to be aware of a few things so that you are really sure about the readiness of you and your family for this change.
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First, you need to consider how your family feels about your decision to adopt a dog. Everyone – the children, the elders – needs to be on board with the decision to adopt a dog. For the dog, the environment matters, and it also matters who is going to be responsible for the feeding, walking, and cleaning. Is the care going to be on the shoulders of one family member or is it going to be a shared responsibility?
Are you really ready? What’s the reason you want to adopt a dog, be honest with yourself. Can you really be assertive and calm when things don’t go as planned? Do you have the patience to train a dog? Can you give it the time and attention it will need?
Can you fit the dog into your schedule? If you are not a very good manager of time or responsibilities, then you may find yourself making excuses when it comes to taking the dog for a walk or taking them to the vet. Will the dog be left alone for hours during the day? Can you afford to care for the dog properly?
Explore the neighborhood and confirm it is really pet-friendly. Do you have other dogs living in your neighborhood? Is there a dog-park nearby? Check to find out where the closest vet clinic is.
All dogs have different energy levels so be sure to adopt the kind of dog that has equal or a lower energy level than you. Think about your age and the dog’s age and see if it’s in sync.
Finally, consider senior dogs too, don’t ignore them – they are in need of a loving home too.