Have you been thinking about adding man’s best friend to your family? All too often I see people adopting dogs and then having to return them because they don’t fit their family or because they weren’t prepared for the responsibility of fur kid ownership. Hopefully these tips can help you find the right dog for your family.
Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
While many people think that puppies are cuter and more desirable than their adult counterparts, I tend to disagree. Cute, sure, but puppies are a lot of work. They aren’t potty trained, they chew, they cry, they are babies and babies need a lot of care and attention.
If you don’t have the time to train and care for a puppy, consider an older dog. It is more likely that they are potty trained and past their chewing period. We have always adopted older dogs and it has worked out very well for us. We never had to deal with the middle of the night, crying for its mommy, puppy phase and I’ve been thankful for that.
Size Does Matter
Do you have an apartment or a house? Do you have a backyard? Make sure you are looking at dogs that are an appropriate size for the place you’re bringing them home to. While I have known a Great Dane that lived in a one bedroom apartment, I wouldn’t recommend it. Make sure your pup has plenty of room. If you do opt for a larger dog and have a smaller home, please be sure that you are taking your new four-legged friend for walks so they get plenty of exercise.
Please keep in mind that the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. Larger dogs tend to live shorter lives. The longevity of the dog may be something you want to pay attention to.
Make sure the dog you are interested in gets along with all of the members of your family. If you have children, make sure you get a child friendly dog. If you have other pets, bring them to the shelter with you and see if they will get along with the dog you’re interested in. We’ve introduced our existing dogs to the dogs we’re interested in adopting and it has helped tremendously with making a decision. The last thing you want is to bring a dog home and have them fight constantly with your existing pet. Just speak with someone at the shelter and let them know you need a place to introduce the animals and they will appreciate that you’re taking that extra step.
Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing how sad a dog gets when it is returned to the shelter. Some people may think that they don’t know what’s going on, but I believe they do. If nothing else, please make sure that you are at a place in your life where you can accept the responsibility of raising this animal for the rest of his or her life. The stress placed on animals when they are abandoned time and time again is so very hard on them. If there’s a chance you might be moving, commit to finding a place that will allow your new fur-kid to move with you. If you plan on having a baby, please make sure you have enough love in your heart to care for the baby and your dog.
These animals are looking for their “forever” homes, not for their “until” homes. Please adopt responsibly.