So your kids have been telling you non-stop about how much they want a fur baby in their lives… you’re seriously considering adopting one because what in the world can make someone regret adopting such great living beings? Well, that depends on how much effort the family is willing to put into raising that dog and preparing the kids for the responsibility they’ll have.
Dogs are great companions and will certainly add so much to your life and make every day lively and full of laughs. However, a decision like that shouldn’t be rushed until you’re completely aware of what you’re signing up for. Bringing a dog home is a huge responsibility, so here are things you should consider.
1. The family’s lifestyle
Most of the time, people choose a dog based on how cute they look or how trendy that breed is without thinking of other critical factors. Every breed is different, and choosing the breed depending on how well they’ll fit your lifestyle (and your tolerance level) is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. For instance, if you’re someone who can’t keep an eye on the dog at all times and want a reliable dog that won’t get lost, there’s no logical explanation for you to adopt a Beagle.
So, before going to a shelter to pick up the fluffiest and cutest dog there, make a list of things you want and things you won’t tolerate and find a breed based on that list. Maybe even get into a Facebook group that includes people who adopted that certain breed, know what they have to say, and choose accordingly. That step is especially important if there are kids or babies because there are some dog breeds that aren’t kid-friendly or don’t tolerate kids provoking them, which might lead to unwanted consequences.
2. Choose a suitable veterinarian before getting the dog
Caring for your dog’s health is a huge responsibility. You want to ask people around your area for veterinarian recommendations and go interview them before you adopt the dog. That’s because the relationship you’ll have with them is a lifelong relationship, and you need to make sure you choose one correctly.
Also, a veterinarian will help you choose a dog breed that fits into your lifestyle and enlighten you on the possible medical conditions each breed is likely to have. For instance, there are dog breeds that are likely to have bone or muscle deformities, and you’ll need to take them to a trusted pet orthopedic surgeon. So, ask and do your research before you adopt a pet. On a side note: just because a vet seems friendly to you that your dog will like them, there are other skills a veterinarian will need to have to be qualified as a good one.
3. Adjusting your home to become dog-friendly
There are very tiny details you need to be aware of that can possibly end your pet’s life, such as that if a dog eats chewing gum, it might die. That’s why before adopting a dog, you need to make a few adjustments to your home and ensure that there aren’t hazards out there that can harm your dog. These things include not leaving chemicals like detergents out, small toys that they can swallow, electric cords, sharp corners, or even medication that can be toxic to them.
4. The training and adjustment period
Unless you adopt a dog that is already trained, be prepared for the period before you adjust to life with your dog. This period can be even harder if you already have pets at home. Things to be prepared for are the crying of a puppy all night (yes, the same as human babies), peeing on the floor, wandering around to discover the house, chewing on your bags, etc.…
There will be things they’ll do you might not have thought about, so make sure your schedule is not packed when you bring a dog home because you’ll likely have to adjust to some changes in your lifestyle. You might even have to keep an eye on it at all times because there might be hazards you didn’t think of, and you need to spot them right away before anything happens.
5. Choosing food according to age and breed
You can’t feed your dog anything that has the label “dog food.” You want to consult the veterinarian before settling for a certain dog food bag to ensure that you’re making the right choice for your dog’s long-term health. You can also do your research on the best kibble on the market. There are different kinds depending on the health needs of your dog. For puppies, for example, the best dog food for them is dense with nutrients. For senior dogs, on the other hand, ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties are great. Your dog’s needs will differ from age to age and breed to breed, so you need to do proper research and consult your veterinarian.