Tips for Adopting the Perfect Dog

Adoption is the best way we know to get a great canine companion. Choosing to adopt a dog and save a life was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

A potentially sad consequence of adoption is when Scruffy thinks he has found his forever home, only to get dumped back in the shelter by the person who adopted him.

Getting adopted and returned is very traumatizing to the animal. Getting a new pet should be a fun and joyful experience for all involved. Please consider the following tips before bringing home that furry bundle of unconditional love.

Make sure your family is ready for the changes a new dog will bring
A furry friend brings love and companionship but also new household chores. Dogs need lots of attention and training. Are you ready to wake up early on a Sunday morning and take your dog out in the rain? Are you ready to get up with him in the middle of the night when he is sick. How about cleaning up those various messes? Are you ready to spend time walking him and exercising him?

Make sure your dog suits your home and lifestyle.
Can you give your new friend the daily exercise and social interaction that he needs? You may have your heart set on a large, active dog, but that particular pooch may not be the best choice for your home environment and lifestyle. If you have a small yard or no yard and little time, energy or resources to meet his exercise needs then it is not a good idea to adopt a dog that needs a lot of exercise. You will only be angry and frustrated when the dog is tearing around your house leaving a path of destruction while simply trying to burn off excess energy.

If you have children, ask the shelter what type of dog will get along best with the kids. If you are getting a dog for the kids don’t expect the children to do all the work. No matter how mature the child is he or she will need supervision and help handling the responsibility of a dog. Ultimately, the parent is responsible for the new pet.

Confirm whether anyone in your family has allergies.
Taking care of this before you bring home your new furry friend can save a lot of heartache.

Consider the financial commitment of owning a dog.
Are you financially in a place where you can afford the care and upkeep of a dog? The costs can really add up. Besides the cost of quality food and treats there are toys, grooming costs, training, veterinary care and more.

Prepare yourself and your home before you adopt.
Read up on the care of a dog. Stock up on supplies including food, treats, toys and bedding.

Don’t expect your new dog to adjust overnight.
Please remember that your new dog has been through a lot. He may be overwhelmed and confused by his new environment. He may be shy at first. He may have accidents. This happens 90% of the time, even if the shelter staff says he is housebroken. He is not a bad dog, simply confused. Take it slowly and be patient. Let him get to know you and adjust to his new surroundings at his own pace. Give him lots of affection and attention and soon you will have a loyal canine companion.

Return to The Growlin'Gourmet Home page from Tips for Adopting a Dog