Looking beyond their cuteness can be tough, but before you adopt a dog there are a few key things that you need to consider. Follow our guide below to ensure you’re ready to adopt your new best friend.
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Top 3 Signs You’re Ready to Adopt a Dog
1. You have enough space for your chosen breed.
The amount of space you have will greatly influence the breed of dog you choose to adopt. Take a good look at your living situation. If you live in a small apartment, a German Shepherd may not be the best choice.
In saying this, don’t completely abandon the idea of having a dog just because you live in an apartment. Smaller breeds of dogs, such as toy poodles and maltese are perfect for apartment living. Their small size means they won’t take up much space, and probably won’t mind waiting indoors for you to come home. However, just because a dog is small doesn’t mean they won’t need to be walked daily.
2. You are home enough.
Most of us work full-time, Monday to Friday jobs, which doesn’t leave a lot of spare time in our days. Your time is an extremely important element to consider when looking at adopting a dog.
The general rule of thumb is large dog breeds will require around two hours of exercise daily, while smaller breeds need less. We aren’t saying you have to walk around the block for two hours. Dogs are versatile, you can take your new best friend for a swim or play fetch to make up some of the time.
Remember, your dog will likely be home alone for the hours you are working, unless you’re lucky enough to work in an environment which allows you to bring your dog to work. Ensure that you’ve set up your yard so it’s safe for your dog to be home alone.
This can include things like making sure there are no toxic plants or holes in your fences. Giving your dog interactive toys is a great way to keep them entertained in the hours you’re away. Speak to your local vet to get recommendations on the best boredom-busting toys for your dog.
3. You have budgeted for owning and adopting a dog.
Dogs cost a lot more than just the initial outlay of the adoption fee. You have to take into consideration the cost of food, toys, bedding, vets and flea and tick guards. That’s just the start too.
Like us, as dogs age, it is common for them to develop health issues, which can end up costing you an arm and a leg.
Don’t let this deter you from adopting a senior dog though. Often these dogs have lovely temperaments and are trained. They are perfect for those who lead a slower paced lifestyle and are after a cuddly friend for the couch.
When looking at breeds, it’s extremely important to remember the larger the breed the more expensive. To put this into perspective it costs about $30 to feed a small dog monthly, in comparison you’re looking at up to $200 monthly for a larger, more active breed.
Top 2 Questions to Ask a Shelter Before Adopting a Dog
It is very important to note most of the below mentioned issues can be worked on and trained out of these dogs. It may just take time, something you must be willing to give when adopting a dog.
Is the dog housebroken? Will I need to toilet train the dog?
Housebreaking troubles are something most adopters will experience to some degree or another. Whether the dog has never been trained or has simply been a stray for a long period of time, there are a variety of elements which may lead to housebreaking issues.
Most of the time, these issues can be managed with the appropriate reward-based training. Speak to your local vet, Animal Welfare League or RSPCA for advice.
Does the dog have a history of aggression against other pets or children?
Having other pets or children at home will increase your reasoning drastically for finding out if a dog has any aggressive behaviours.Most often, the animal shelter will be able to inform you over any known aggression issues.
However, common aggression issues can be attributed to resource guarding. Resource guarding is when the dog becomes aggressive when they believe something of value to them is going to be taken away. This issue is often present at feeding times, whether the dog may become agitated when another animal or person comes near.
This is often something that can be minimised with the appropriate training.
Get into contact with your local vet for advice on training rescue animals.