If you are considering getting a new dog to add to your family, you should certainly consider adopting a dog from a shelter.
Dogs end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, here are some examples. People who do not spay or neuter their pets may have unwanted litters. Some dog owners become too sick to care for their animals and have no choice but to give them up to shelters. Unfortunately, far too often people who are not willing to put the time in to train and care for their dogs, those dogs may also end up in shelters. Remember – their loss is your gain. One of the most rewarding decision a dog lover can make is adopting a dog from a shelter. The stigma that all shelter dogs have behavioral problems is simply untrue. In fact, rescue groups and shelters are full of gorgeous, sweet and well-mannered dogs.
There are so many potential pets to choose from and if you are considering giving a home to one of these unwanted and abandoned dogs, here’s a guide to finding the one that just right for you.
Get approved to adopt
If you’re interested in adopting a dog, make sure you find a rescue group or shelter first and get approved to adopt before choosing a dog.
One of the major problem is people scroll through online profiles of dogs only to fall in love with “the one” based on their looks or a few description sentenced. This works out sometimes, but it’s often more complicated.
And while it can take a week or two to get approved because some rescue groups and shelters have extensive application process, and sometimes they also reject applicants for whatever reason or it could be the dog you wanted has already been adopted. It is highly recommended that you apply to adopt a dog in general. After you get approved, you can begin to work with that organization to find the best pet for your family.
Breed can certainly tell you some things about a dog and you can start doing research on different breeds. All dogs are individuals, it is naive to rely on breed specifics to determine a good match for you and your family. Remember that a dog’s breed is only one factor in how she might behave. After other factors such as the dog’s activity level, history and experience, a dog’s breed should be at least third on the list of importance.
Consider the dog’s activity level
The dog’s energy level is a really critical thing to address right off the bat. It is important to ask how active the dog is in the home if the dog you’re interested in has a foster home. It is very important to listen to what the foster family says as opposed to convincing yourself a specific dog will fit your interests and needs.
Dogs experiences with kids and pets
Another important thing to ask about is the dog’s history and experiences with kids. Sometimes the rescue groups or shelters will have a longer history on the dog and sometimes they will have to rely on the information from the dog’s current foster home. It’s better to ask for specific examples on how the dog behaves in various situations.
Adopt a puppy or an adult dog?
And finally, one of the most important thing people need to remember is that puppies will often grow up to be a different dogs than their new owners hoped them to be. On the other hand, an adult dog can be a better match because you already know if the dog has had experience with kids, dogs or cats and if it’s gone well.
When thinking about adopting a dog to add to your family, it is highly recommended that adopters ask themselves the following questions:
- What kind of daily activities do I hope to enjoy with the dog?
- Am I emotionally and financially ready for this long term commitment?
- Do I want a dog that is very outgoing or do I want a dog with less maintenance?
- Do I see myself taking care of this same dog 10-15 years from now?
While these are all just very general tips, we hope it will give you an idea of the kind of questions you should be thinking about before adding a new dog to your family.