Tips for Pet Adoption
Selecting a pet can be a very emotional event. Take time to research the type of dog that will fit best in your and your family’s lifestyle to avoid making impulse decisions. Remember that your new canine friend can spend up to ten years or more with you and you need to make an informed decision that is best for allhumans and dogs involved.
Realistically assess how much time and resources you have for your new dog. Things to think about include:• Certain breeds will require regular trips to the groomer to properly care for their coat.• Many breeds will require a high amount of exercise each day in order to keep up with their energy level.• If the dog is a puppy, it will require more time for housetraining and socialization than a mature dog.• Puppies of course will require time for training sessions and classes but even adult dogs will require that you put in time so that they learn the basics. A dog that comes with behavioral issues will require additional time and commitment to help them acclimate to your household.• What is the general fl ow of your lifestyle? What type of social activities do you attend and how would the dog fit into your life?• Do you have children? Other pets? Do many people visit your house and will the dog have to interact with them?
Are you looking for a mixed breed or a purebred? Even if you decide on a mixed breed, you should do your homework into breed traits. A mixed breed dog will likely exhibit some of the traits of the parent breeds. It’s important to know what a dog was originally bred for. For example, if you live in a small apartment with small children, you probably don’t want a dog with a herding breed heritage, as these types of dogs require abundant exercise and may chase/herd your children around the house. Likewise if you’re a generally sedentary person, adopting a sporting dog such as a Labrador or Golden Retriever will not be a good match, unless you intend to seriously increase your daily exercise.
Puppy or adult dog? Many people do not anticipate the needs of a puppy – which include house training, socialization, chewing and other destructive behavior, basic training, and regular veterinary visits. If you have a very hectic lifestyle, consider an older dog. There are many advantages of an older dog, including the likelihoodthat the dog is already housetrained and may have had some training from its previous owners, and that thedog may have matured out of the chewing stage.
If you are brand new to dog ownership, or just can’t make a decision, consider asking a professional trainer for assistance. Many trainers are happy to work with a client who needs help finding the right dog, and can assist you in making your selection.