Thinking of adopting a dog for your family?
If so, we think that’s great…but before you run off to your local dog shelter, rescue group, or online adoption site, consider whether your family is fully prepared to accept the lifelong responsibility of guardianship. Of the dog.
And then take some time to consider what type of dog is best suited to the lifestyle of the family or individual who will be the dog’s guardian.
Puppies, for example, need a lot of attention in terms of care, feeding, house training, socialization and exercise.
If your family is busy or you are caring for young children at the same time, you may want to consider adopting an older dog that is already house trained and does not need the same level of attention that a puppy requires.
Are you looking for a dog to be the companion of your mom or dad or another elderly person? Then consider an older dog. Senior dogs can be wonderful companions for seniors. They can be very gentle and sweet-tempered and the fact that they are in their golden years in terms of life expectancy may be the best option for an older person who may not be able to care for a puppy now and for 15 or more. years of life. .
Do you know a special child or adult who may have a physical or other challenge? Some of the most wonderful experiences on record are those witnessed by disabled dogs interacting with children and adults who have challenges. Apparently, a special bond between human and dog materializes as they build on each other’s strengths and journey through the joys of living and supporting each other.
What about the cost of caring for a dog?
Bringing a new dog into your family or home is bringing home a new member of the family. If you have any qualifications on that concept, then don’t buy a dog, buy a toy. Dogs need love, more nutritious food, a warm, comfortable place to sleep in your home (not your garage or patio), toys, vitamins, veterinary checkups, dental care, and grooming. If you live in a cold climate, many dogs need a coat when they go outside during inclement weather. This is just a beginning.
We have 2 small dogs and spend about $300. month on their food, supplements and veterinary medical insurance. If more is needed, we would happily spend it even if we had to sacrifice elsewhere.
Will you give Fido your time?
From puppies to senior dogs, they all need your time and attention to varying degrees. Puppies need the most time, but even an older dog needs exercise, playtime, and attention. If you think that a bowl of food and water is all your dog wants to be happy, put yourself in his paws. Would you like to have some food left for you and then be ignored?
I’ve seen many families adopt a dog, leave it in the yard or garage all day with no exercise or attention, and then wonder why the behavior problems show up.
Sadly, I have seen little dogs alone to grow in a backyard fountain. Large dogs that rip pillows in a garage may be returned to the kennel as incorrigible (they are often the first to be euthanized) and others left chained for their own good, as owners call it. None of these people should have a dog.
If you’re thinking about getting a new dog, you’ll know you’re ready when you’re not only excited but committed to the well-being of your new family member.
When you care about the quality of the food he eats, the veterinary care he receives, the training, grooming, exercise, and time together that only you and your family can provide, you’re ready to get a dog.
My wife and I took our dogs on our honeymoon to California wine country. Why? Because they are members of our family. No one else would make sure your medications and care are handled as well as we would. And most importantly, we wanted them with us. We stayed in a wonderful hostel and found great dog friendly restaurants and activities everywhere.