Before You Adopt a Dog

Are you thinking about adopting a dog from a shelter or buying a purebred from a breeder?

Before you adopt a dog think about the reasons you want to adopt. Is it for companionship, protection, or maybe unconditional love? These are actually excellent reasons for adopting a dog. Research indicates that dogs are good for our health and people who own dogs have lower blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones in their blood.

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility, so if you’re contemplating adding an adult dog or a puppy to your household, there are several things you should consider before making such a major commitment.

You should never adopt a dog on an impulse or a whim. Realize that you are adding a living thing to your life, or to your family, and this animal will need to rely on you for its every need. The average lifespan for a dog is 12 years, so during the dog’s entire lifetime, you will be responsible for its every physical and emotional need.

Do you have the time required to care for a dog? Do you have young children or elderly parents living with you? If so, you need to take them into consideration also when deciding whether or not to get a dog? Do you have other time consuming commitments like work and social activities? If you do, it might be better to wait until you have more free time in your life to devote to taking care of a dog before you take on the extra responsibility.

You need to decide what kind of daily commitment you’re willing to make if you choose to adopt a dog. This will help you decide whether now is the right time to bring a dog or puppy into your life. Do a little research on the breed or breeds of dogs you’re considering. You’ll be able to make a better decision on what type of dog is best for you and your situation.

Plan on a minimum of one hour a day to provide basic care for a dog. The hour is broken up into periods for feeding, walking, exercising, and potty times. Remember, this is an hour every day, including weekends. Some breeds of dogs are very active and require a lot more time. Dogs with higher energy levels need longer and more frequent exercise periods to stay healthy and happy. A dog who has too much energy and not enough exercise or activities will find things to do that are not what you want your dog to do.

Training a new dog is important for you and your pet. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons for a dog to be surrendered to a shelter and euthanized is a “behavior problem”. This is sad, as most behavioral problems can be prevented by proper training. If you adopt a puppy you will need to train it for at least 1/2 hour every day until youu’re satisfied it will obey your every command.

Please consider before you adopt a dog that a dog cannot raise itself. You will have to teach a dog how to behave. Training will teach your dog who is the leader and will make living with a pet much easier.

Dogs are social creatures and are usually devoted to their owner. Be sure you are giving the pet you choose a home forever, no matter what happens in your life.

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