THINGS TO CONSIDER PRIOR TO ADOPTION

You can teach an old dog new tricks!

One of my “second hand” dogs was an eight year-old German Shepherd mix who had never lived indoors.  Although she did have to be house trained, it only took about two months for her to become completely reliable in the house.  The major advantage here, of course, was that I was dealing with an adult dog who didn’t need to be taken out every few hours as one would have to do with a puppy!

Personally, I find it easier to predict what I’m getting with an adult dog.  Do they come with baggage?  Sometimes.  On the other hand, we have had dogs that have been beaten and starved before they came to our shelter.  These dogs have no earthly reason to trust people, but they do.  Not only do they trust, they also love. 

That cute puppy will look like an adult in a year or less.

If a puppy is what you have your heart set on, that’s great.  Just remember that puppyhood is very fleeting, and that you will have an adult dog soon enough!  Make sure that you will have the time that will be necessary for house training, teaching manners and feeding.  Puppies are very labor intensive.  They need to learn the difference between a chew toy and your favorite slippers!  They need to learn that it is okay to potty outside, but not inside!  They need to learn to be careful with teeth when playing and to be polite and not jump up!  Want your new friend to walk on a leash?  You’ll have to teach him how!

Puppies need to be fed more frequently than adult dogs, and they need to take care of their business more often as well.   A general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold its bowels and bladder for one hour for each month of age plus one.   Therefore, a two month-old puppy would need to go out every three hours or so.

What is your energy level and life style?

If you are a couch potato, then by all means keep looking until you find a dog that is a couch potato too!  If you are very active and like to run or hike, then you probably want a higher energy companion.  The same is true if there are children who are going to play with your new friend.  Select a pet that fits your activity level.

Take a long, hard look at your life style.  Is your dog going to be home alone most of the time because of work and various outside activities?  Really think about how much time you will have for a dog and how that will fit into your routine.

Then there is the cost!

Taking an animal to the vet can be just as costly as a visit to your own doctor!  If you get a puppy, it will need to be spayed or neutered.  There are puppy vaccinations as well as rabies vaccinations; heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative.  For a medium sized female dog the cost for the first year is approximately $651.00.  A medium sized male dog would be approximately $618.00.  (The difference is in the cost to spay vs. neuter.  Outdoor plumbing is a little less expensive!)

A pet from Furry Friends has all vaccinations appropriate to the age of the pet, is spayed or neutered and will also be micro chipped.  (Micro chipping is not included in the above cost.)

Expenses can increase even more should an animal become ill.   Then, of course, there are other costs such as food, toys and treats, as well as things like collars, leashes, crates, bowls, and even fencing for your yard.  As you can see, the costs can add up!    

Animals are living, feeling creatures!

It is okay to try to teach your children to be responsible.  Just make sure that you are there to remind them when the water bowl needs to be filled or that Sparky needs to eat.  Kids will be kids, and you need to realize that you will be Sparky’s life line!

Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment for the pet and a long term commitment for you.  Some dogs live into their teens and some cats into their twenties.  Make sure that you are up to the challenge!

If you're ready for a loving, long term relationship, then click here for our adoption application!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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