Dog Adoption Will Save A Life And Bring You Joy!
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Dog Adoption Will Save A Life And Bring You Joy!

Dog pounds are forced every year to put down countless dogs who were the victims of a decision taken too hastily by their owners. They realized (too late) what it actually means to have a dog. Adopting a dog involves commitment, sacrifice and responsibility. It is a decision that should NEVER be taken lightly. Before making the decision to adopt a dog, think about it carefully! Otherwise, the one who will have to pay the consequences will be your four-legged friend. If you are willing to offer him the love and care he needs, in return he will be a life-long loyal companion who will love you just the same.

We adopt dogs because we are sensitive to their suffering and we want to share our lives with them. However, this is not always sufficient to guarantee a peaceful relationship with our new friend. We have to take into consideration all of the factors that could, over time, have a significant influence on the relationship that we wanted to build with them. I don’t want to discourage anyone from adopting a dog; I just want you to be aware of everything it entails.

IMPORTANT things to consider during dog adoption:

• Does the whole family agree on dog adoption? Most likely, the dog will be living with the whole family, so the decision must be decided together.

• How much time do you have to devote to the dog and how long he will remain at home alone when you are at work/school? Dogs are social animals and they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. In addition to having company, they need AT LEAST two walks a day. (And no, a 5 minute walk to the corner of your house does not count!) They need regular exercise to maintain good physical health, and also for mental stimulation. If no one in your family has a chance to go home for lunch and walk the dog, then perhaps adopting a dog is not the right choice for you.

dog adoption• Are you ready to commit long term? The average life span of a medium sized dog is about 13 years. If you are unsure that you will be able to provide the same care and attention the entire time, you may consider adopting an older dog.

• How much does it cost to have a dog? Food, a crate, toys, regular vaccinations, treatments for fleas, parasites, and de-worming, sterilization costs, kennel fees for when you go on vacation and will not have the opportunity to take him with you, the possibility of accidents and diseases whose treatment involved could be very expensive… the list goes on and on and on……..

• Are you expecting any changes to happen soon in your family? A dog, especially during its initiation into your family, needs to have stable conditions to which he can adapt. If you are expecting big changes that will happen soon, such as having a baby, a wedding, moving houses etc., then it is better to postpone your decision.

• Do you have other animals in your home? If you are not sure that your current pet will appreciate a new arrival, consult your veterinarian.

• Allergies? If you are unsure whether a family member has a dog allergy, they can take an allergy test through their general physician to find out if they will be living with the sniffles when he arrives.

• Are you a neat freak? At least for the first few days, it can be normal for the dog to have “accidents” inside the house, lose some hair, or he may chew on those new shoes you just bought.

If at this point you are convinced that you want a dog, the next thing to think about is what kind of dog is best for you. Like people, dogs are individuals, and each of them has a different personality. A successful adoption depends largely on the dog’s personality, his physical characteristics, and PATIENCE.

Physical traits to think about:

Size: Consider the size of your home and your backyard or available outside green space. For example, a Newfoundland in a studio is perhaps not the best choice. Also consider which dog you are physically able to handle. Try to be realistic about the size of the dog that best fits your home environment and your lifestyle.

Male or Female: This will be your own personal decision. The important thing is that they are sterilized to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Age: Everyone would like to adopt a puppy and watch it grow, but a puppy requires A LOT MORE care and attention than an adult dog. They grow very quickly and unfortunately when they are full size, they are taken to a dog pound because they are too big or too active. Adult dogs tend to be quieter and require less exercise. Some tolerate being left alone better than others. The majority of dogs, even adult dogs, can adapt very easily to their new family.

Coat: Long-haired dogs require a greater commitment because they should be brushed daily to prevent the formation of nodes. They also lose a lot more hair. Short-haired dogs only need to be brushed more or less once a week. Some breeds like the poodle do not lose hair and can be suitable for families with allergies.

Breed: If you are interested in a particular breed, research their personality traits and any medical problems they tend to have. NEVER buy a purebred from a breeder or a store. Pets are not objects that can be bought. Some dog rescue groups are breed specific and you can adopt a dog through them if you are looking for a specific breed. (I will talk more about the adopting from rescues below).

Personality traits to think about:

Good with children: Obviously if you have children or if there are children who often visit your home (for example, grandchildren) you need find a dog that is calm around children. Some dogs have had past negative experiences with children and are therefore not able to tolerate them. This is on an individual basis and if you adopt from a rescue group, often they can tell you which of their dogs are good with children, and which are not.

Good with other animals: If you have other small pets, choose a dog with low prey instincts, i.e. an animal that does not chase anything that moves. If your other pets have never been in contact with a dog before, they may be frightened or can become aggressive. These problems can be solved but they take time and patience. If you prefer to not deal with this problem, make sure you find a dog that is friendly with other animals.

Good with other people: It is very important that if many people regularly visit your home, or if you live in a popular area, that your dog won’t be aggressive towards them.

Good with other dogs: It is essential that the dog is sociable with other dogs. If you already have a dog in your family, if there are other dogs who often visit your home, or if you live in an area frequented by other dogs, it is important to make sure your dog has good social behavior.

Energy level: A very active and playful dog that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation will be suitable for families who have much time to spare and a very active lifestyle. Otherwise it is better to opt for an older dog that will require less exercise. Find a dog that has same level of activity as you. Without exercise and proper attention, he can get bored, become frustrated by the lack of stimulation, and can develop behavioral problems.

Strong character: Some dogs with a dominant and confident personality may be more suited to those of you who have had experience with similar dogs. Having the experience, you will be able to give him rules and not have the dog take control of you. Dogs that seem more gentle and sensitive are ideal for families with children or other animals.

Loves cuddling: Some dogs appreciate cuddling more than others. If you are a person who loves to snuggle up and cuddle cozily with your dog, you might be disappointed if your new friend prefers to keep his distance.

Training: If done the right way, all dogs can be trained. However, just like people, some learn faster than others. If you are interested in training you need to choose a dog that is very motivated by food and is interested in human interaction.

Independence: As I stated previously, dogs are social animals who enjoy company, but some tolerate solitude more than others. If you plan to leave your dog home alone (for short periods of course) find a dog that doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety.

Dog Rescue Groups

Dog adoption from a rescue group is a fantastic way to find the best dog for you. I adopted my dogs from a rescue group who saved them from being put down at a pound. The process was relatively simple, and they really made sure that my dogs and I were right for each other. They are usually non-profit and those volunteering have dedicated their time and effort to ensure the dogs are placed in a “forever home” Usually, rescues will tell you everything you need to know about your potential friend. This includes:

• Age

• Sex

• Breed

• Personality (Is he ok around children? Does he stick to you like glue? Is he TOO interested in cats? Does he like chew toys or interactive toys?…etc…)

• Habits (Does he pull on the leash? Is he potty trained? Does he bark at strangers?)

• Current vaccinations

• Current health problems

If you are interested in adopting a dog through a rescue group, it is very easy to search for the ones in your area using the internet. Many people also use petfinder. This site can help you find a dog that needs a home in your area. You can also search by size, sex, breed, etc. A lot of rescue groups will post their available dogs in need through this website.

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