10 Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

So, you’re thinking of getting a fur baby!? Keep in mind, it’s a huge responsibility, but in my opinion, it’s a no brainer to own a dog. I’ve always owned a dog and understand the responsibilities that come with owning one, two, or three haha. Dogs are a commitment so ensure you’re ready to commit to your fur baby and give them the love they deserve. If you’re a dog lover like me and NEED to have a dog in your life than here are some things to know before adopting a dog. 

1. Dogs Need Time & Attention

Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

Dogs are social creatures and love spending time with their humans. That being said, you don’t have to be joined at the hip 24/7! However, you do need to plan on feeding them, walking them, and providing a-lot of attention before heading off to do your daily activities.

When you return home, your fur baby will likely be very excited and ready to hang with you for the rest of the evening. This should include an evening walk, even if it’s pouring outside or too cold.

If you’re thinking of getting a puppy, keep in mind that they’ll need to be let outside every few hours, even during the night. Also, adult dogs need to stretch their legs and take a potty break every eight hours or so.

If you’re away from home for long periods of time, you’ll need to consider who will let your pup out. Dog walkers are a great option (I ran my own dog walking business for three years), but they can be a bit pricey if you’re needing your dog to be let out everyday. Make sure to check your dog walkers credentials, experience, and knowledge before you allow them to start working with your precious doggo.

2. Research The Breed First Before Adopting a Dog

Research The Dog Breed First

Before adopting a dog, it’s super important to do your research on the breed you’re interested in. Every breed has its own unique personality, needs, and health issues, so knowing what you’re getting into is important.

For example, some breeds require lots of exercise and space to run around so if you’re an active person who loves to hike or has a big backyard this would be a good fit. While some dogs, are happy with a daily stroll around the block, living in a condo would suffice. Certain breeds might not be the best fit for families with kids or other pets such as cats so it’s crucial to do your research and find a good shelter who will allow you to meet the dog in person first.

It’s also important to note that certain breeds, like bully breeds, often get a bad rep on social media. This ultimately leads to the dog often getting overlooked at shelters. However, the truth is that every dog is different and has its own story, and it’s not fair to judge an entire breed based on stereotypes or misconceptions.

Bully breeds can be some of the most loving, loyal, and affectionate dogs around. That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind and not rule out a particular breed just because of its reputation. Ultimately, doing your research will help you make a more informed decision and ensure that you and your future pup are the perfect match!

3. Dogs Can Get Expensive

Dogs can get expensive

While the idea of having a dog to cuddle with watching Netflix,  becoming your running buddy, or even hiking/camping with sounds like a dream come true, there’s more to owning a dog than just the initial adoption fee. From food, vet visits (even emergency), to training, gear, and toys, the costs can quickly add up. Here are some examples of what you need to consider financially before adopting a dog:

  1. Adoption fee: typically between $100 and $400
  2. Spay or neuter surgery (which most rescues and shelters take care of before adoption): $300 to $450
  3. Dog food: depending on your dog’s size and dietary needs, you could be looking at anywhere from $40 to $150 per month.
  4. Essential Supplies: like a collar, leash, ID tag, toys, bones, dog bed, and crate: around $200 to $500.
  5. Annual checkups and vaccinations at the vet: $150-500 or more per year. Additionally, consider the cost of pet insurance.
  6. Monthly Heart-Worm Medication: (varies by dog size): around $30-50 for a 6-month supply.
  7. Monthly Flea and Tick Prevention: (also varies by dog size): about $65 for a 6-month supply.
  8. Grooming Services: like baths and nail trims (if you don’t plan on doing it yourself): at least $50 per month.
  9. Training Classes: to help your pup learn good manners: This is super dependent on the style of training and the period of time. Anywhere from $200-$1000.

Keep in mind that these are just estimates, and the costs can vary depending on where you live, your dog’s specific needs, and the products/brands you choose to buy from. But, by doing some research and budgeting you can ensure that you and your fur baby have a happy and healthy life together.

4. Prepare Your Home Before Adopting a Dog

10 Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

Make sure you understand the things to know before adopting a dog and be prepped and ready for your new dogs arrival. Store your cleaning supplies and any poisons like medicines, chocolates, and certain plants in a spot that your new fur baby can’t get to. It’s also a good idea to remove any small items or valuables they could choke on or be too tempted to play with. Your slippers, shoes, socks, eyeglasses, and anything that smells like you could become their new favourite chew toy, so be sure to put those things away! Better safe than sorry, right?

Your pup also needs a special spot to call their own and make them feel safe, so set up a cozy corner with a cute bed, fluffy blankets, and some toys. Stock up on supplies like food, water, a leash, collar, toys, and treats to make them feel right at home.

By taking these steps to prepare your home, you’ll be giving your new fur baby a comfy place to call their own. Now, let’s get ready for some serious snuggles!

5. Find a Local Veterinarian

Top Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

It’s super important to get your furry friend to the vet ASAP. The shelter can give you deets on their vaccinations and health issues, which you’ll wanna discuss with your vet.

Choosing a vet is a personal choice, so think about what kind of vibe you want. If you want a big ol’ clinic with a famous name, that’s cool, but you might not get to know your vet super well. If you prefer a smaller, more personal clinic, that’s awesome too! Consider asking the shelter who they would recommend as a vet if you live in the same area. You can also ask your people for recommendations ’cause they’ll give it to you straight.

Remember, your fur baby’s health is a top priority, so don’t be shy about asking questions!

6. Give Your Dog Time To Adapt

Give your dog time to adapt

When you bring your new furry friend home from the shelter, it’s important to remember that the first few days or even weeks may not be smooth sailing. Each dog reacts to being in a shelter differently and it can be a stressful situation for them.

Your pup might be jumpy, shy, or scared about interacting at first. Remember, when you bring a new dog home, they may need some time to adjust and feel comfortable in their new environment. It’s best to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere in those first few days by having a conversation with your kids beforehand and limiting visitors. Although friends and family may be excited to meet your new furry friend, it’s important to avoid hosting any big gatherings right away as this could cause additional stress for your dog.

Don’t worry though, with patience and a consistent routine, your new dog will likely settle in beautifully. It typically takes about a month for a dog to fully relax and adapt to new routines.

Experienced adopters will tell you that they didn’t really see their dog’s true personality until they had been home for a few weeks or even longer. So, try and maintain routines and training during this early period and you’ll be rewarded with a happy and well-adjusted fur baby!

7. Don't Judge At First Sight

10 Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

When you visit a shelter to meet your potential pup, keep in mind that many dogs might seem a bit shy or nervous at first. But don’t let that fool you it’s not necessarily their true personality!

The shelter environment can be scary for dogs, and they may not show their true selves in a kennel. So, take your time to get to know each pup’s individual personality throughout your search.

Remember, every dog is unique, and judging them based on looks or breed won’t be an accurate way to determine if they’re the perfect match for you and your family.

8. Determine Whether Your House Situation Is Good

Do you rent or own a home?

Some things to know before adopting a dog, is it’s important to have a good home for your dog. That means owning or renting a place that’s safe and secure, so your dog can feel comfortable and happy. If you’re renting, make sure your landlord is cool with pets and that you know what the rules are.

It’s also a good idea to have a yard that’s fenced in so your dog can run around and play without getting lost. And remember, having a stable home environment means you can take good care of your dog, like taking them to the vet and giving them love and attention.

9. Define a Solid Routine Before Adopting a Dog

10 Things To Know Before Adopting a Dog

As someone who’s recently adopted a dog, I’ve learned that establishing a routine is super important for their well-being. Dogs love routines because it helps them feel secure and less anxious. Plus, it makes it easier for me to plan my day around my dog’s needs. For example, I try to feed my dog at the same time every day and take them for walks on a regular schedule. This helps my dog know what to expect and makes them more relaxed.

It’s important to keep in mind that it may take some time for your dog to adjust to the routine, especially if they’ve had a difficult past. But by being patient and consistent, your dog will learn to trust and rely on you. And trust me, having a routine not only benefits your dog but also makes your life easier as a dog owner. You’ll spend less time worrying about what to do with your dog and more time enjoying their company!

10. Socializing Your Dog Is Important

Socializing Your Dog

As a fellow dog owner, I can tell you that socializing your new fur baby can be challenging, especially if you adopt from a shelter. These dogs may have had limited socialization experiences and can be shy or nervous around new people and other animals.

But with patience, you can help your new rescue dog become more comfortable and confident around other doggos. When introducing them to other dogs, start with neutral territory and keep both dogs on a leash. Watch their interactions closely and reward good behavior.

And don’t forget that every dog is unique and may have different socialization needs. Some dogs may be more outgoing and love meeting new friends, while others may need more time to warm up. As their owner, it’s up to you to read their body language and make sure they feel safe and secure.

Overall, socializing your dog is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. It can be challenging at times, but it’s so worth it to see your fur baby grow and thrive. So take the time to introduce them to new experiences and enjoy watching them become confident, well-adjusted dogs.

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