Have you decided adopting a dog is for you? Great choice! Adopting a dog saves a life. Adopting a dog also discourages puppy mills from churning out puppy after puppy, with the mother living in inhumane conditions. However, adopting a dog comes with a lot of changes for everyone. Here is a checklist to make sure your household is prepared.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- If you have other dogs, how will they react to a new dog in the house?
- Could your current home be considered well-suited for the dog you are choosing?
- Consider your social life and obligations. Will they affect your ability to care for your new dog?
- Do you travel for work or have a vacation planned? If so, where will your dog go?
- Does everyone in your household feel comfortable about having a new dog?
- Does anyone in your home have dog allergies, or is anyone intolerant of pet hair or dirt?
- Does anyone in your household have health issues, which may be affected by having a dog?
- Which breed of dog will fit into your lifestyle the best?
- Which adult member of your household will take primary responsibility for the dog?
- Do you have the time and patience it takes to work with the dog? Think about housebreaking, chewing and energy levels.
- Would a younger or an older dog fit better into your lifestyle?
- If you have children, is your chosen dog breed known to work well with kids?
- Do you want a dog who follows you around the house, or one that is more independent?
- What size of dog can your home accommodate?
- Most adoption agencies will charge a small adoption fee.
- The cost of spaying or neutering your dog
- ID tags, microchipping, leashes and collars
- Grooming supplies and equipment
- A dog bed and toys
- A carrier or crate
- Unexpected costs such as emergency veterinary care
- Dogs need to be fed 2 or 3 times a day and have a consistent supply of fresh water.
- Dogs need to be taken outside to relieve themselves throughout the day.
- Dogs need at least 1 hour a day of direct attention. This includes training, exercising, grooming and playing with your dog.
- Dogs that have long coats need about 20 minutes of brushing a day, to stop their fur from matting.
Now that you know everything involved in adopting your dog, here is a list of supplies you may need.
- Bowls for food and water
- Canned or dry dog food
- Dog collar
- A leash, 4 to 6 feet in length
- ID tag with your contact information on it
- Carrier for transporting your dog
- Bed for your dog
- Dog shampoo and conditioner
- Nail clippers
- Doggie toothbrush and paste
- Doggie brush
- Scrub brush and sponge
- Odor neutralizer
- Poop bags
- An assortment of dog toys
- Doggie first aid supplies
- Baby gates if needed
And there you have it! You and your newly adopted dog are ready to handle life’s adventures together.