So you have been thinking about adding man’s best friend to the family by adopting a shelter dog. While there are many benefits to owning a pet, there are also a lot of duties and responsibilities involved with taking care of and providing for your dog. With the right planning and consideration, adopting a shelter dog can be a fun and exciting experience as you add a new member to the family. Here are some tips for adopting from your local shelter:
Create a monthly budget for the pet
Despite being considerably cheaper than buying a purebred, adopting a dog often requires money up front for the vaccination and administration costs involved with the shelter. In addition, pets do have a monthly cost involved with food, shots, medicine, toys, treats, and other pet accessories. Create a realistic budget that includes products that you have to buy and are likely to buy like dog beds or kennels. Especially if you are going to be adopting a breed of dog that is prone to certain diseases or conditions, consider budgeting to keep your pet safe and healthy.
Buy supplies ahead of time
When you are ready to adopt a dog and know which kind you want, buy all of the supplies that you will need up front. You will need supplies like leashes for walking, treats for training, daily food, and puppy pads for potty training. If you buy all of these supplies before you bring the dog home for the first time it will be a much easier transition from no pet to full-time pet. This will end up being a bigger adjustment than you might initially expect
Give yourself time
When you are in a dog shelter and looking at all the cute little puppies that are begging for attention and love, it can be tempting to walk out that day with a new pet. Since adopting a dog is a big responsibility, give yourself plenty of time to think it through and make sure that it is something you actually want and are ready to do. If you still want to adopt a dog after a few visits, then you know that you are ready.
Research breeds and shelters
It is important to know all of the details of what you are getting into with both the breed of the dog and the benefits of the shelter you are adopting from. When you are looking at various breeds of dogs, write them down and research them so that you know if the dog matches your personality. Some shelters offer unique tests that match you with certain types of dogs that will be the best fit for your lifestyle.
Many shelters will provide shots and other additions like collars, leashes, and even the first month of food. Research various shelters in your area to find the best match to take care of your new rescue dog.
When you are considering adopting a shelter dog, the most important factor and tip that you should consider is if you really want the responsibility. Taking care of a pet can be very rewarding as you are responsible for the health and happiness of another sentient being.
Rob Toledo is an all-things-dog advocate, recommends considering dog insurance, and urges you to adopt your next furry companion from a local shelter. He one day hopes to have a yard big enough for at least 10 dogs.