Adopting A Dog – Things to Think About
There are many reasons which people have for wanting a dog, and the biggest is usually pressure from the family, in particular the younger members. If you give in and decide to get a furry friend from an adoption kennel, it is essential to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. There are thousands of dogs all around the country waiting for their new ‘forever’ homes, many of them with heartbreaking stories to tell and sometimes with hard to handle problems. So this decision has to be right for the whole family.
What to consider?
The first thing to consider, even before you decide what type of dog you would like, is this: who is going to take responsibility for the new family member? The kids may be the ones hollering loudest for a dog but you may see their enthusiasm waning when Fido has to be taken for a walk in the rain! If, realistically, it is going to be Mom walking the dog, training him, grooming him, taking him to the vet, cleaning up after him and feeding him – well that is something to really chew over. Can you set house rules – and stick to them? And what about when you’re at work and the kids are at school. It’s not fair on any dog to be left at home alone all day. This could lead to the dog suffering separation anxiety and reacting by destroying furniture, pooping in the house or howling. You will need to factor in the expense of hiring a daily dog walker or doggy day care. If you go on holiday or for days out and cannot take the dog with you, you will need to consider kennelling or house-sitting costs.
Other costs to think about are veterinary bills for annual vaccinations and treatments as well as unexpected illnesses or accidents; pet insurance; food (which may be expensive for a large dog).
If and when you’re ready
When you are absolutely certain that you can afford to keep a dog and your heart is bursting with love ready to give to a dog, speak to the shelter kennel staff. They can give you good advice on what type of dog is best for you and your family, ideally matching you with one whose energy levels and size suit you, whether that’s a puppy or an adult dog; a purebred or mixed breed.
Finally, adopting an abandoned dog can bring love and joy into your life, but if you have any doubts at all – think twice.