Anyone who thinks there’s no such thing as unconditional love in the world probably hasn’t owned a dog. They’re called man’s best friend for that very reason. However, the decision to adopt a dog should not be made lightly, and making a mistake during this process can make you both miserable. Here are four things you should know when adopting a dog.
Their Medical Needs
When you buy or receive a new puppy, one of the first things on the to-do list is to take them to the vet. They’ll need to receive a round of vaccinations and get microchipped. The microchip helps them be reunited with you if they are lost, and you could be hit with a fine if they’re found not to be chipped.
They’ll also need treatments to prevent heartworms and fleas. Expect to spend several hundred pounds in their first year and thousands of pounds over their lifetime. You can mitigate the cost of major vet bills with dog insurance. For example, insurance providers like Everypaw, found at https://www.everypaw.com/, offer insurance for dogs which could come in handy in case of an emergency. You’ll find they have comprehensive levels of cover so you can know what you’re covered for if you need to take an emergency trip to the vet because something happened to your dog. Consider buying puppy insurance as soon as you’ve bought the puppy to help defray the costs of caring for them.
Some dog breeds are prone to medical problems, while poorly bred purebreds may suffer from congenital health problems, so make sure that you consider that as well when choosing which dog you want to adopt. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a breed based on perceived value since they might require specific care. They also might not be compatible with your particular environment, so make sure that you’ll have the space needed for them to thrive.
The Financial Commitment
We’ve already mentioned the vet bills and pet insurance you’ll need to pay for. However, that’s only the start of what the dog needs. Realistically, most dogs aren’t going to be sleeping with their owners night after night – they should have their own bed.
They should have blankets, a few toys, and possibly a dog crate. Another ongoing expense is food. Your dog isn’t going to be eating table scraps every night, or at least shouldn’t be. The cost of dog food will depend on the size of the dog; larger ones, of course, eat more. However, you can save money by buying dry kibble instead of raw meat, however, check the nutritional value of the food to ensure it’s suitable for your dog.
Dry kibble is cheaper than raw meat and so you could save money by buying this instead, however check the nutritional value of the food to ensure it is suitable for your dog.
The Time Commitment
Dogs need daily exercise, even if your garden is large enough for them to do their business in. You’re going to have to invest time in that daily clean-up unless you live on a farm. Dogs should be walked at least once a day for the exercise, and more than once if that’s when they’re going to do their business. You should also inform yourself on the breed of the dog and their daily activity needs.
However, dogs don’t only need you to take them on walks. They want love and attention. Don’t expect the dog to be grateful to you for adopting it from the onset. It will, though, love the hours of play and walks. And through that interaction, they’ll learn to love you.
The time commitment is greater if you’re buying a puppy, since they need to be house trained. However, adopted adult dogs may still need to learn how to respond to you and may need behavioural training. All dogs will need to be trained to understand your particular rules such as don’t get on the sofa, don’t beg for food at the table, and don’t dig up the petunias. Dogs raised in another house may act “weirdly” because the other person allowed them to lick plates before putting them in the dishwasher. They’ll also need time and training to get along with other pets you might have in your house as well.
You May Not Have All the Facts
It is possible that you don’t have all of the facts once you get your dog. Rescue societies aren’t perfect, and people who leave animals with them may not have filled out forms honestly. Breeders may lie to you about their pedigree or health to sell them to you. Someone selling or giving away a pet may not tell you all their issues or minimise problems so that they can re-home the pet. Understand that you may have a long adjustment period and face a number of surprises.
While a dog may become your new best friend, recognise that this will take time and effort. Bringing them into your home will demand time and money. Be aware of all the factors to take into account before you bring a new dog home.
Love Happy and the Gang