Deciding about adopting a dog

THIS is what you need to know before adopting a dog

Thinking about adopting a dog?

DO IT!

Just look at the picture!

And then read the following blog, and then take the next step:

Getting a new puppy is an exciting time because they bring so much joy and energy to any home, ensuring that you’ll always have an ecstatic welcome home every day.

If you are thinking of getting a puppy or even an older dog, there are specific aspects that need to be considered and accounted for before you bring them home.

Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you think through this decision, especially the cost involved, before committing to getting a dog (for more information on the costs involved, check out this blog on Unaagi). 

Choosing the perfect pet for you has more to do with what works for you, your environment and your life-stage. Owners and their pets tend to bond more when the owners understand and know ahead of time what they’re looking for in a pet.

Most people overlook everything else when they consider how cute and lively a dog would be as an addition to their home.

However, to provide the best environment for your pet, we have listed out a few aspects that you can keep in mind before bringing your pet home. Even if it isn’t your first time getting a puppy or an older dog, it helps to refresh your memory on all the aspects you need to consider before bringing home a new pet.

Which breed would best suit your lifestyle and environment?

Choosing the breed that would best suit your lifestyle and environment will ensure that you are in tune with the type of activities and the routine that your dog will need.

Particular dog breeds generally have health or behavioral issues that are common or predisposed to that breed. Some dog breeds are also more popular than others, but this also doesn’t mean that it necessarily may be right for you. 

It is advisable to do some research on the breeds that you like and check if their needs are compatible with your lifestyle. For instance, a high energy breed like a husky may not be a good fit for you if you do not have the time to take your pet for walks and other activities every day.

Or, if you hike or spend your time outdoors, a breed such as a bulldog may not be compatible with your lifestyle.

Certain breeds also tend to be prone to specific health issues which may require regular visits to your vet, along with medication or even changes to their lifestyle or diet.

In this case, you may be faced with many vet bills or even certain lifestyle restrictions. So, it is important that you are prepared for these issues that may arise in the future by doing your own research. 

Doing your research on dog breeds can keep you informed on what to expect, but it can’t tell you everything. There are many misconceptions and misinformation about dog breeds that lead people into getting a pet that does not suit their lifestyle.

It is important to remember this as you may not end up getting exactly what you planned for, so it is good to be flexible. If you feel that it is difficult for you to be flexible, then maybe a dog as a pet may not be the right fit for you 

Keep this in mind when you are looking for specific genetic traits, behaviors, or even appearances in a dog. No matter how hard you try, you may not end up getting exactly what you planned for, so you need to be flexible.

If you can’t, then maybe a dog isn’t the right pet for you (check out this blog on Unaagi if you think a cat may be a better fit for you).

Can you give your pet one-on-one time?

Puppies and even older dogs need quality time with their pet owners, but it is difficult to be certain just how much they may need you. Some dogs like their alone time while you may have to work, but you need to be prepared to spend a good amount of time before or after work to care, train and nurture your pet. 

If you do have an active social life, love to go on regular holidays, or even have a hectic work schedule that requires you to work long hours, then you may want to consider a less needy pet, like a fish.

You also need to consider your other responsibilities. Young kids, your career and any other commitments can be a factor that limits the time and effort that you can dedicate to your pet.

Puppies in general need more attention than a baby. If you aren’t able to provide the required training, structure and discipline, then your puppy may form dangerous habits, such as chewing, digging and even self-harm tendencies, like over-grooming.

Can you give your pet a suitable environment?

Think about your current living situation. Is your home suited for a dog to grow up in? You don’t always need a large house with a huge backyard, but dogs do need room to play and explore.

Even if you live in an apartment or you don’t have a yard, does your neighborhood have suitable parks or walking spaces? If not, do you have reliable transportation to take your dog to an area with suitable amenities?

Living in a crowded city area isn’t ideal for every dog, so make sure that your home is a good match for the breed of dog that you decide to get. Older dogs or even less-active dogs are able to adjust to a city setting or an apartment better than a young puppy for instance. 

You may also need to confirm that you are allowed to have a dog in a city or apartment setting. If you are living in a rented space, you may need to check if you are able to have a pet and it is always better to confirm this before starting the process of getting a pet.

Can you keep your home dog-safe and dog-proof?

Like kids, dogs can be very messy and they can break things in your home. You need to be able to handle the little accidents that may happen (chew marks on your table, mud on your carpets) in order to be ready to get a pet as this is inevitable. 

Dog-proofing your home is crucial, from rearranging your furniture, or putting away floral arrangements and plants, to even setting up a designated area to store your valuables and breakables is key to being prepared for a pet. 

However, if your home is more on the messy side, a curious puppy may have multiple ways of misbehaving. Your new pet’s decisions will usually be guided by their nose and stomach, so it is important to keep your home neat and tidy in order to keep your pet safe. 

Ensure that your garbage cans are emptied on time as well as ensuring minimal clutter of your belongings in spaces that are of easy access to your pet. Having a tidy house means you will be able to provide your pet with a safe house.

Can you afford to have a pet?

You need to ensure that you have the required funds to take care of your pet in the long term. The initial purchase is only the start and dogs require regular visits to the vet, plenty of food and water, a bed, a collar, a lead and other accessories to keep your pet happy and safe.

The average lifetime cost can also differ based on the breed, the size and the health of your dog (for more information on the costs involved, check out this blog on Unaagi). 

Your pet’s health and happiness will be one of the most important aspects to consider. So it is crucial to have a good relationship with your vet as there may be healthy days and emergency medical days in your dog’s life that you need to be prepared for.

Dogs can get sick and hurt as humans do, so you need to keep track of your pet’s vaccinations to ensure that they are healthy (Unaagi can help you keep track of your pet’s vet appointments and anything else that you need to get done).

Also, pet insurance, if within your budget, can help to cover large, unexpected health bills.

Make the right choice

If you think you can detach yourself from your material possessions, plan well financially, commit your time and effort, and also keep calm under stressful situations, then you are probably ready to get a dog! 

Shelter and rescues are also a great place for you to shop for an older dog if you aren’t ready to get a puppy. Many older dogs need a good home and some of them already have years of socializing and training experience

If your research draws you to a specific breed that may suit you and your lifestyle, you can then go through a breeder.

It is important to make sure that you are picking a responsible breeder as there are many puppy mills and inexperienced breeders that are contributing to the vast number of dogs that end up in shelters and rescues.  

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask your friends and colleagues and even do research on your own regarding the breeder you should choose. A good breeder, rescue or shelter will be open and honest with you and will also help you find the best dog for you. 

If you are a first-time dog owner, all of this may be a lot to take in. However, being equipped and well informed will help you create a long-lasting relationship with your new pet, the kind of relationship that you’ve always dreamed of!

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