Adopting A Dog
You know what it's like. You see a cute curly haired puppy in the pet store, with big brown eyes begging for your attention. Next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket buying dinner for your new puppy. It's not hard to get sucked in by a puppy. However, sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest pleasures.
Adopting a dog is a big decision. Dogs require lots of time, money, and commitment, as they can live from 9 to 15 years, depending on the breed. Owning a dog can be very rewarding, but you must think it through before adopting one.
Things to consider when looking at puppies for adoption
Adopting a dog or puppy from an animal shelter shows that you're a responsible and caring person. But first take a moment to think over these important questions:
Why do you want a dog?
... not many people ask themselves this question. Don't forget that your new dog may be with you for up to 15 years.
Do you have time for a dog?
... you can't ignore your dog just because you're tired or busy. You have to provide food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. You can't just "take a day off" if you feel like it. A lot of the dogs in the shelter or rescue are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them.
Can you afford a dog?
... the costs of dog ownership can be quite high. Licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food,and other expenses add up quickly.
Are you prepared to deal with special problems that a dog can cause?... flea infestations, scratched-up furniture, and unexpected medical emergencies are all unfortunate aspects of dog ownership.
Can you have a pet where you live?
... if you rent you may not be allowed to have a puppy or a dog. Find out before you consider looking at puppy's for adoption.
Do you have young children?
... if you have kids under six years old, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a dog. Dog ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible.
How much room do you have at home?
... the size of the dog is not the only thing to think about here. Some small dogs, such as terriers are very active, and require a great deal of exercise to slow them down, and they often bark at any noise. On the other hand, quite a few big dogs are laid back and just couch potatoes. Before you adopt a dog, do your research. That way, you can be sure you choose a dog who will fit into your particular lifestyle and your living arrangements.
What will you do when you go on vacation?
... you'll either have to rely on your friends and neighbors or have the money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
Are you prepared to keep and care for the pet for his or her entire lifetime?... when you adopt a puppy dog, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for his or her lifetime.
Well, that was a long list of questions, however if you take a look through an animal shelter, they will help you understand why you need to answer each of them honestly.
Most of the dog shelter's and dog rescue's homeless animals are puppies and dogs that are the result of irresponsible breedings, or owners who simply could not manage their pet.
Please, please, don't make the same mistake! Think it through before you consider puppies for adoption. Sharing your life with a dog can bring incredible rewards, but only if you're willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love, for the life of the dog.
Russell Savige has been breeding and rearing dogs for 18 years. He is the owner of Training Dog Breeds, a website dedicated to the breeding, training and rearing of dogs and puppies. Training dog breeds includes a massive Directory of over 16,750 dog related websites.
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