Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog

Dog Adoption

So, you are considering a dog adoption. These fun and furry creatures do make wonderful pets. However, while considering taking on the enormous responsibility of dog adoption, consider all these topics before making a firm decision.

Can You Afford Dog Adoption?

Animals can be expensive, especially when they are sick and need immediate medical attention. Most veterinarians are fair when it comes to emergency situations. Nonetheless, there are the yearly vaccinations and necessary medications to consider, such as monthly heartworm and preventive flea treatments. Additionally, feeding a pet can become expensive, especially if your dog requires a special diet. Although most dogs eat only twice a day, the cost of food can quickly add up.

The True Cost of a "Free" Pup

Even a free puppy will cost you in the long run. The average estimated cost for a dog's first year is shown in the table below, although the cost of services and goods can vary greatly. These costs are based on the estimated expense for a healthy medium-sized dog in the Midwest.

Average Annual Cost of Dog Ownership
Item Cost
Dog In this case, zero
Vaccines $75.00
Vet Bills $125.00
Food $300.00
Spay/Neuter $150.00
Training aids $100.00
Bowls $10.00
Training $75.00
Chewies $50.00
Toys $50.00
Boarding $125.00
Collar and Lead $20.00
Flea Preventative $50.00
Grooming $120.00
Heartworm Preventative $50.00
Total $1,300.00

Do You Have Time for a Dog?

The main reason many dogs are up for adoption is because their previous owner did not have the time to properly care for them. Dogs require attention, a lot of attention. Will you be there every morning and evening to walk and feed them? Perhaps you have an enclosed fenced area they can roam. This may sound like great idea; however, leaving a dog for extended periods of time in a fenced area is not why you adopted them in the first place. Therefore, before taking on a dog adoption, consider the time it will take and be sure that you will have enough of it. Dogs get lonely too!

What Kind of Dog?

Are you thinking about an inside or an outside dog? Which do you prefer, male or female? Do you favor small dogs to large dogs? Is there a particular breed you are looking for? Research different breeds as some tend to be very active and playful, while other breeds are known to be calm and less energetic. You may also want to consider the age of the dog you are looking for. Older and/or mature dogs may be already house trained, not to mention calmer than puppies. However, if you want to do the training yourself and have the time to devote to a new ball of fur, then a puppy is for you.

Consider Living Arrangements

Where will your dog sleep? Is there adequate room in your home? Will you crate your dog during the day, or let it roam the house? What about other family members living in your home? Most dogs are great with children; however, some may be intimated with smaller members of your household running around. If you have kids, be sure to adopt a dog that is already known to be child-friendly. It may take time for other family members and your new dog to become comfortable around each other, but with the correct training, it is possible.

Where to Adopt a Dog

You've made the decision and now it is time to undertake a dog adoption. Locate your local pet shelter and set aside a day or two when you can visit these places. There are so many dogs waiting to be adopted and finding the right one can be a long process. Websites also offer dog adoption, such as Petfinder.com and Dogbiz.com. You can also search your local newspaper as some pet owners advertise their pets for adoption. Before taking a pet home, be sure to retrieve the proper vet records. Find out when his/her last vaccinations were, when they are due, and if they are already spayed or neutered.

Dog Adoption Is a Good Thing

Dog adoption can be a fun adventure, especially if it is carefully planned ahead of time. These furry creatures demand a lot of time, but they also require and give love, which is why you are adopting in the first place! Be responsible for your dog, make sure you pet receives good veterinarian care, and your friend will live a very long and healthy life.

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Dog