Adopting a furry friend is one of life’s greatest joys. Not only do you have the opportunity to give a loving home to a deserving pup, but you’ll also experience the boundless love and companionship that a dog can bring.
However, adopting a dog is a serious commitment and requires a great deal of responsibility. From providing daily care and exercise to ensuring they receive proper medical attention, being a dog parent is no small task.
So, if you’re considering adding a four-legged companion to your family, here are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate the adoption process.
1. Find the Perfect Dog Breed for Your Lifestyle
Like with people, dogs have different attitudes and lifestyles, and while every dog is different and unique, a lot of their behaviors and traits will come from what breed they are.
It’s important to match yourself with a dog that will either want the same things as you or will want to support you if that’s what you want.
For example, if you want a dog that’s energetic, friendly, and intelligent, maybe even huggable, and loves boops, you might want to get a Labrador Retriever!
Want to spoil a dog with a million grooming styles but you’re allergic? A poodle might actually be a great match for you!
Do you want a dog that’ll love and guard your family at the same time? You might want to get a boxer.
Some dogs are great as guard dogs, some are great as family dogs, and some are great either way. Some dogs have a longer lifespan, some dogs are prone to diseases that might be in your area, and some dogs can be easily trained.
I can go on and on telling you what breed you might want to get, but I think I got my point across that it’s important to match yourself with the dog that you need. It’s not ideal to get a dog that triggers your allergy, and it’s not great to get a dog that’s not family-friendly when you have children!
To find out more about all the different breeds and their behaviors, you can go here on the American Kennel Club website. They have a list of their recognized breeds and they also include each breed’s usual behavior, health, and other useful information!
2. Consider Your Living Situation
Once you figure out what breed of dog you’re going to get, you should consider your living situation, do you live in an apartment or a roomy suburban home with a backyard? It wouldn’t make sense if you would get a large dog in your small apartment, right?
Another factor to recognize is the noise levels around your area, are you near a busy street where a dog might get irritated and overstimulated? Or it can go the other way around, are you in a living situation where your possibly barking or howling dog might be irritating to others? If so, you might want a dog that’s easy to train.
You should also consider where the dog will sleep and spend most of its time. Are you always at home? Or will the dog always be at your side?
Again, if your living situation will possibly affect you and the dog’s quality of life, you should probably pick another breed or proceed carefully with picking a dog of the breed you want.
3. Are You Financially Prepared?
Adopting a dog requires a lot of money! So like any other factor, you need to check if your finances are in order for the dog of your dreams. There are costlier dogs to own, mostly dog breeds that are either prone to genetic diseases and conditions, or dogs that need consistent grooming.
But either way, just the simple responsibilities of owning a dog will cost you money. They need vaccines and good food, and if you spoil them clothes and toys can easily make money fly away from your wallet!
If the dog you got is a bit hard to train, professional trainers are also another expense that you have to be prepared for.
But don’t worry, you can keep emergency funds for your fur babies or you can even get them insured! But hey, if you really can’t afford the dog, do yourself and the dog a favor and perhaps get the dog when you’re in a better state financially!
4. Get Everything Your Pup Needs… And Wants
Now that picked your dog, you considered how the both of you will live together, and you planned out how you’ll cover the dog financially, it’s time to prepare everything that your pup needs!
Crates, Kennels, and Beds
First off, a crate or kennel is not really essential for a pup, but it can be a great way to train and make your pup comfortable from the moment it gets home! It’s important that they also have a personal space within your home, a place to relax and sleep without them getting anxious.
A crate can also be a great tool to keep your puppy safe if you’re going to leave it alone for a while. Plus, if you’re traveling, your dog will still have a place where it can be comfortable and feel safe in!
If you want to take it to the next level, you can also get a dog bed! It not only provides a comfortable and soft sleeping area for your dog, but it also helps keep them warm if they ever get cold at nighttime.
Collars and Leashes
Next up, a collar is something that you should also get for your dog. Collars aren’t just tools to keep your dog with you, slap an ID tag on and you’ll be ensuring their safety just in case they get lost.
A leash and harness are what I recommend when you take your dog for a walk, it’s easier on dogs, and they are less prone to choking if you use a harness. Plus harnesses are more secure just in case they like to tug and escape.
Bringing our pups to the groomer often can get expensive! That’s why it’s important for us to get our own grooming supplies, I’m talking about silent trimmers, nail clippers, combs and brushes, and the essential bath supplies! Besides, grooming your dog will provide a great bonding experience for both of you!
Oh, and of course, you should also check out pet hair removers especially if you have a non-hypoallergenic dog!
First Aid Kits
Like with people, dogs need their first aid kits, especially if your dog is exposed to other animals. A basic first aid kit with non-stick bandages, gauze, antibiotic sprays, and hydrogen peroxide. Or you can just get a ready-made kit like this one.
Dogs love to play! And no matter how much you love your dog, you won’t have the time to play with them all the time. Toys will provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog and they can prevent destructive behavior and provide a healthy way to spend their energy! Plus once you have time, toys can also help you play with your dog. Lastly, dog toys can also promote good dental health!
5. Get Your Fur Baby Home!
Now that you have everything you need to bring your dog home, it’s time to go pick them up and meet the dog that’ll accompany you through thick and thin with unconditional love!
Trust me, adopting a dog can be a lengthy and expensive process but it’s all good and worth it if your dog loves you back, and spoiler alert, they most definitely will!
There you have it folks! I hope that you get the puppy of your dreams! But if you have thoughts or suggestions that you’d like to add to this quick list of things to do before adopting a dog, please leave them in the comments below! Thank you for reading!