In some people’s eyes adopting isn’t complicated: you just go to a pet store or shelter and choose the cutest one. But there’s a lot more to it than that, and that’s why—according to Humane Canada in a 2012 census—more than 53,000 dogs were taken in and cared for by Canadian Shelters. Most of these dogs were abandoned or returned by their owners because they realized they were not qualified to have one. There is a lot to consider before adopting a furry friend, and this post is here to help you figure out if you are ready to have a new family member or not.
1. Can you afford one?
Adopting usually comes with a cost because of the vaccinations given to a dog to prevent diseases like Distemper, Parvo, Kennel Cough, and Rabies. But the money you have to spend doesn't end there. According to Money Under 30, the total you have to pay for their needs before adopting is approximately $565 and $695 annually.
2. What size dog is best suited for your lifestyle?
One of the most common dog myths is about their size. Many people believe smaller dogs don’t need as much attention or exercise, but this is completely false. All dogs big or small need daily walks, good training, and as much attention as you can give. The pros of owning a small dog include lower costs for treatments, having a good travel companion, and gaining an ideal pet for urban spaces. If you travel a lot or live in an apartment building that restricts the size of your pets, you might want to go for a smaller breed. On the other hand, bigger dogs are good watchdogs, great with kids, have great endurance, and are easier to train. If you have a family, love to go on long runs or walks, and like an obedient friend, bigger breeds might be to your liking.
3. Will you have time to fulfill all their needs?
Dogs need to be trained, and the sooner the better. You need to take time out of your day to house train them, teach them how to behave when walking in public, and show them how to act around other people and dogs. These are just a few of the things you need to train them for. Puppies are like a child; if you don’t pay enough attention to them they will get bored and misbehave. You also need time throughout your day to make sure they get all the meals they need. When you first adopt a dog you will need to invest a lot of time in them, but even after they’re trained they still need your attention and care.
4. Do the right amount of research on the breed you will be adopting.
This is one of the most important points to consider. The moment you learn the breed that will be entering your home, do research about them. Every breed has different traits and capabilities: some are faster learners and others are better at social skills, some are leaders and others followers. By doing research you can also be aware of the diseases they are prone to and how to avoid them.
5. If you have other pets…
If you have other pets, make sure to research how to introduce them to each other. You shouldn’t take this matter lightly, for animals to co-exist and have a good relationship they should be introduced slowly and appropriately. When this is done correctly your new pets—no matter the species—will become family!
Clarissa L. Flores
Clarissa L. Flores is a 19 year-old in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin Colllege. Originally from Mexico she came to Canada to expand her knowledge on writing, turning a hobby into a career. If she’s not listening to music or daydreaming, she probably has her nose in a book.