Adopting a new dog can be exciting, but making sure you choose a dog that fits in your life is very important. That’s why we’re here to help. Check out these 5 quick tips for adopting a new dog to get you started.
We know that adopting a new pup is exciting, but it can also be stressful. How will you know if the dog is right for you? For starters, you can do some research before heading to your local shelter or rescue group, and you can also talk to the shelter staff and find out about the dogs they have available. There’s a lot to consider from the dog’s age, size, breed, temperament, and more. So let’s get started!
- Do you want a puppy? They can be bundles of joy, but also tons of trouble due to their boundless energy and ability to get into things. From chewing to housebreaking to even teaching basic skills and manners such as “sit,” “stay,” and how to walk on a leash, puppies often mean a lot of time and commitment. Not looking forward to house training a new dog? You may want to consider an adult canine – often they can come house trained, and if you’re willing to learn more about them and find out if they have any issues to work through, they can be a real joy to bring into your home. Skipping right past the house training part to the part where you get to go play fetch can certainly have its rewards! Adopting a senior dog can be an incredible experience also. Many senior pups are overlooked at shelters due to their age, but bringing a senior home can be a real blessing. Many seniors will be so happy to have their own home, and have a lot of love to share.
- What’s your lifestyle like? Long hours at work while living in a big city may make adopting a high energy dog a bit of a challenge. It can be done – but you should know it will require added commitment from you to ensure the dog has enough exercise and stimulation to be happy (and stay out of trouble when you’re not home). If you’re looking for a dog to join you on the farm, a teacup pup may not be the best choice. And while every dog is different, going in with an open mind and a clear understanding of what type of time you have to dedicate to a new dog can help guide you in your decision in finding the right dog for your lifestyle.
- What breed is best? That’s a matter of opinion and can also tie into lifestyle. Some breeds are more active and love hiking, while others prefer to be pampered pups living life like a king or queen. Some breeds such as huskies love colder weather so may not be the best choice if you live in a warm climate and love the heat. And other dogs such as retrievers and labs love the water – so if you’re an avid boater or fisher, you may love having a dog that loves being on – or in! – the water as much as you do. The best bet is to do some breed research before you head to the shelter so that you have an idea of what breeds are more likely to fit into your life.
- Do you have other pets? A dog with a high prey drive may not be a good choice for a house that already has a cat living there as it can be stressful for both the cat and dog. Some dogs love livestock and other animals, while some dogs are terrified at anything that’s larger than them. And if long walks and play dates at the dog park are a must-do on your list, be sure to ask if the dog you are considering plays well with others. Some dogs prefer to be the lone wolf in the pack and won’t even enjoy the excitement of group play at the park. All dogs are individuals, so again it’s always good to talk to the shelter staff and find out what dogs they think may be right for you. If possible, you may also be able to bring your dog (if you already have one) to meet the new potential pups themselves to see how they react before you bring the new dog home.
- What about kids and household members? Having a roommate that’s allergic to dogs could put a damper on things. And it is important to teach children how to properly handle a new dog, but it’s equally important to select a dog that has a good temperament and tends to be patient and calm rather than anxious and aggressive. Some dogs prefer to attach themselves to just one person which is great if you live alone, but not so great if you have frequent guests in your home. While some of this will tie into breed characteristics, it also has a lot to do with individual dog personalities. Bring the family with you to meet the potential dogs if you can and see how they all interact with each other before making that commitment. Taking your time to get to know the dogs you are considering is always a great way to help the transition of a new dog into the home be a good one.
Ready to take the next step in adopting a new dog? Great! Whether you decide to adopt, or instead opt to purchase a specific breed of dog, make sure to book an appointment for you and your new dog so that we can get you guys set up for success and a healthy happy long life together. Woof!