Things to think about when adopting a dog

Jun 7, 2011

1. Why do I want a dog?

This could be a 10-15 year commitment. That’s a large chunk out of your life. What do you want from your dog, and is it realistic? Do you want a cuddle-bunny to sit on your lap, or a jogging companion? The answers to this question could greatly influence your choice of dog.

2. Can I afford a dog?

Dogs cost money! You need to decide if you can afford to pay veterinary and food bills etc. Your new dog will (hopefully) be with you for many years to come.

3. Do I have time for a dog?

Dogs require your time. They need social contact for their mental well-being. Not to mention training, walking, grooming and feeding time. ARF uses a ‘perfect match’ system for our dogs which will help you to choose the right dog for your lifestyle.

4. Can I have a dog where I live?

Many landlords don’t allow dogs, so check first – before you have your heart broken and your rescue dog winds up homeless yet again.

5. Is now the right time for me to adopt a dog?

If you have 3 children under six years old, or are contemplating an overseas job, or have a job which is just coming up to the busy season, for instance, it might be better to wait until you can give your new dog the attention he or she will need to help them adjust to their new home.

 

6. Do I have the right home for this dog?

A large dog in a small apartment might not work, if you are also unable to give the dog the appropriate level of exercise. Or perhaps you’re never home to give it the social contact it needs. Some dogs don’t like to share their humans with other pets, other dogs like to have a doggy friend to play with. Research the breed, talk to the dog’s current carers, and try to establish if you and the dog will be suited to each other.

7. Do I know how to care for a dog?

Yes – really! Dog ownership takes a certain amount of “know-how”. If you’ve never owned a dog before, or not since you were a child, you may be in for a bit of learning curve. Fortunately, the resources are out there for you if you need help.

8. What’s more important – my pet or my furniture?

If you are houseproud, are you prepared to cope if your new dog soils the carpet, or chews on the couch? What about the hair? Be honest with yourself. If these issues are important to you, that’s OK – just choose carefully so that you get a dog you CAN live with.

9. Can I be a responsible companion to a dog?

Today’s laws require your dog to be registered, identified, and kept on lead except in specific areas. If you go away on holiday without the dog, it will need to be cared for in your absence. There are your neighbours to consider – their needs, and how they will impact on your dog’s quality of life. Then there’s the everyday responsibilities of having a dog – feeding, watering, walking, bathing, grooming, loving. Are you ready for this commitment?

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