Do you have what it takes to adopt a dog?

February 6, 2014

Have you ever asked yourself why there are so many dogs in the animal shelters around your city? It seems that a lot of people still believe that taking care of a dog is an easy task. You fall in love with that adorable little face; you bring him back home with you, and a few months later you’re overwhelmed by his behaviour. The big surprise is that if you adopt a dog, it is like taking responsibility for a child.

What makes a good dog owner?

Whatever the breed, all dogs require care, exercise, attention, and respect. A good dog owner sees to these needs with patience and affection. When that happens, both dog and owner can be happy. The following responsibilities are the basic requirements.

  • Feed your dog two or three times a day; make sure that he has fresh water at all times and keep his bowls clean.
  • Take him on 30-minute walks at least twice a day, whatever the weather.
  • Let him out to relieve himself during the day, in the evening, and sometimes even at night.
  • Teach him basic commands (sit, lie down, and stay) and practice them with him often.
  • Teach him good dog etiquette (no biting, no barking without cause, and no jumping on people).
  • Brush his coat regularly.
  • Brush his teeth regularly.
  • Play with him often.
  • Be present at home as much as possible.

A financial consideration

And that’s not all. If you adopt a dog, you’ll have to take him to the veterinarian's for shots and annual check-ups. Plus, there are sometimes emergency visits and, of course, spaying or neutering. You must also budget for grooming, dog license tags, toys, treats, and kennel fees for when you travel. In short, if you adopt a dog, it is a considerable financial commitment that will last twelve to fifteen years or longer.

You’re ready to adopt a dog if…

  • You have researched the dog breeds to find one that is compatible with your personality and your lifestyle. For example, you may want to forget about a German shepherd if you’re the “laze around the house” type
  • You’re willing to spend money and a lot of time on your dog
  • You’re willing to welcome him as a full member of the family—a dog needs to feel that he’s part of a pack
  • You have given serious thought to your decision

A rewarding friendship

If you adopt a dog it will be a wonderful adventure, as long as you can meet your new pet’s needs. Your new little friend will fill you with joy and share enough love for the whole family.

Do you have what it takes to adopt a dog?
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