All your life, you dreamed of adopting a dog.
Now finally, after years of patiently waiting, you feel it’s the right time to bring home a new fur baby to love.
But before going to the shelter, hit the pause button for a second. The last thing we here at Petting Bliss want is for this fun and exciting time to turn into a stressful, negative, or hectic experience. That is why we’ve brainstormed a list of important things to think about before adopting a dog.
Let’s jump in.
Successful Dog Adoption 101
As somebody who has adopted animals in the past, I know firsthand what it feels like to bring home a new cat or dog. Those adoring eyes and wagging tail are so full of love. Yet the truth is, not all dog adoptions are successful.
In fact, returning a pet to a shelter is more common than you might think…
In the US, it is estimated that 7% to 20% of pets are returned to animal shelters within the first six months of being adopted.
Sometimes it’s because people did not think carefully enough before adopting. So, I urge you to consider the following before adopting:
- Energy Levels
First, be honest about how much energy you have. Certain breeds (such as Shepherds, Retrievers, and Collies) are extremely high-energy. Do you have time between work and other commitments to walk, train, and play with a dog?
If not, it doesn’t mean you cannot adopt! But maybe a senior or small breed would be a better fit.
- Behavioral Issues
Secondly, think about potential behavior issues.
Remember, dogs in shelters come with “emotional baggage.” For instance, they could have a history of abuse. Or perhaps they were living on the street (which is the case in many of the northern dogs I have worked with) and so they lack socialization skills.
Ask yourself, “Am I comfortable addressing these issues?”
A good dog trainer / behaviorist will be able to help. However, it’s important to be honest about your own comfort levels when it comes to challenging canine behavior like resource guarding, timidness, aggression, anxiety, etc.
- Family Dynamics
Lastly, before adopting a dog, think about your household.
- Are there other pets?
- Do you have children?
- What about roommates?
- Will your landlord be accepting of your new dog?
- Is your partner on board?
As much as this is YOUR dog, the reality is other people will be affected by their presence.
By taking a moment to think about these three things, you can ensure a smooth adoption!