10 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Dog
Adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue centre is a great way to find your furry friend and save a life. Now more than ever, there are millions of dogs in shelters across the country waiting for their forever homes. You will be able to find the perfect match for you and your family.
Adopting a dog is a big decision. You’re bringing a new member into your family, and that comes with a lot of responsibility. The important thing is to consider everything, even the small things. Perhaps you’re more of a cat person after all? Here are the things you should consider before you rehome a dog.
1. Choose the right dog for you and your lifestyle.
The first step to finding the perfect pup for you is to do your research. Different breeds or mixes of breeds can vary greatly, and each one has unique needs and personality traits. Active people may want a high-energy breed like a Labrador retriever, while those with smaller homes or apartments may prefer a toy breed like a Chihuahua. It’s good to consider both your living space, your family, and how active you are or are capable of being before choosing your pup. If this is your first dog, do your research.
2. Get prepared for some extra costs.
Did you know that, on average, dog owners spend about £1,875 per year on their furry friends? Owning a dog isn’t just about the initial adoption fee. There are also ongoing costs to consider, like food, toys, veterinarian care, insurance and more. Make sure you’re prepared to budget for, and can afford, these additional expenses before bringing your new dog home.
3. Dogs need time and patience.
All dogs require a lot of time, patience, and energy, and even more so if you adopt a puppy. They need to be toilet trained, socialised, and taught basic obedience commands. Any dog that you take on will need patience, time and reassurance to settle into their new home and learn the rules of your home. Enter this decision willing to provide the time to teach them this.
4. Dogs need exercise.
Most dogs need at least 30-45 minutes of exercise per day, though some may need more/ less depending on their breed, health, and energy level. If you are already time poor, then a dog may not be a good fit for your lifestyle. You can incorporate your new furry family into your own keep fit regime which also offers valuable bonding time.
5. Dogs need mental stimulation, too.
In addition to physical exercise, dogs need mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. This can be in the form of puzzle toys, training classes, or simple games like fetch. Play some sniffy games with your dog and enjoy watching them using their amazing brains.
6. Dogs have fur!
No matter what type of dog you adopt, chances are they’re going to shed at least some fur and leave some dirt behind from their paws. Be prepared for a little more mess in your home and to clean up after them. Maybe even keep a lint roller on hand for those pesky hairs on clothes. Dog proof your home to avoid any unfortunate accidents- after all, dogs don’t know a toy from a favourite shoe!
7. Dogs need proper nutrition.
Just like humans, dogs need a balanced diet to stay healthy. Talk to your veterinarian about the best food options for your new dog, and be prepared to budget for regular trips to the pet store. You will get the best out of your happy dog if their health is as tip-top as it can be.
8. Dogs need socialisation.
Dogs are social creatures and need to interact with other dogs and people on a regular basis. If you work long hours or don’t have many visitors, you may need to consider a dog walker or joining a training club to allow your dog to meet other dogs and people.
9. Dogs can have behavior problems.
Dogs can sometimes develop behaviour problems, for example barking excessively or chewing on furniture. This is particularly the case if your new dog is stressed or has had bad experiences. Joining a new home will be scary for them. You will need to deal with these issues, following the advice of the rehoming centre or a trusted dog trainer. Always be positive and reassuring to your dog and show empathy and compassion. Reward the good behaviour and work together to gradually and gently correct the unwanted.
10. Dogs are a lifetime commitment.
When you adopt a dog, you’re making a commitment to care for them for the rest of their life. Dogs typically live 10-12 years, though some breeds may live longer. You need to be prepared to care for your dog long-term and build a loving, trusted relationship with them. The rewards? Endless loyalty and unconditional love. Priceless.
Adopting a dog:
We hope this has helped you decide if a dog is the right pet for you. Remember, owning a dog is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly. If you’ve done your research and you’re prepared to commit to caring for your furry family, then adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Prepare to love your dog and be loved! Enjoy!