When adopting a dog, it is best to ensure that you and the dog are a perfect match. When adopting a dog there is never a perfect circumstance as it is a change to both the pet and the owner as well as your family. There are a few preparations that can help minimize the odds of you adopting a dog that is wrong for your family. We talked about our options and needs for a long time before we made the final decision of adopting a dog and we're so happy we did. We hope you can find as much fun in adopting a dog as we did!
Adopting A Dog – Finding The Perfect Family Dog
Adopting a dog should be a family decision and responsibilities as well as the cost of having a pet should be considered. I also recommend you take the following criteria into consideration and start a discussion about it with your family:
The dog breed.
The dog's breed is critical in choosing a dog that will fit the criteria you are looking for. Sure, the breed's temperament and characteristics are just approximations of how the dog would turn out when it's full-grown and that individual dogs have individual personalities. Still, the dog's breed can still give you an idea of what to expect.
The dog's purpose.
There are owners who seek to put their dogs to use according to the dog's activity or training. Some are made into therapy dogs, others as guide dogs. If you are considering a dog for specific purposes be prepared to put a lot of love and effort into training it. Ensuring that the dog is built for the actual activity is another thing to take into consideration the dog's purpose.
The dog's source.
There are plenty of places you can go to when looking for a dog ready for adoption. There are rescue groups, animal shelters, and local humane societies for dogs. If you don't have a specific place in mind for adoption I've shared a few things I've learned about animal shelters and rescue groups:
An animal shelter is a way to go when wanting to save a dog's life. Animal shelters don't necessarily keep track of the dog's history so you can expect surprises as the dog grows old with you. Also, they often accept mixed breed dogs or mutts who possess unexpected characteristics. If you are not a big fan of surprises, you can look into the selection of dogs rescue groups have.
Rescue groups, in general, are the best sources for dogs that are good for adoption. They keep tabs of their dogs' history and the dogs' previous owners. So if you are interested in knowing the conditions from where the dog you are planning to adopt came from, a rescue group is the best place for you to begin your search. On top of these, rescue groups are very specific about the breeds they accept. They also shelter their dogs in actual homes.
Where the dog is going is also a crucial factor when adopting a dog. Some dog breeds are not suitable for families with children, others are not comfortable in confined places.
Has the dog ever been around kids and was the experience good or bad? You might not be able to get an answer to those questions as the original owners might not have the dog still. The best thing to do is introduce your child to the dog in a familiar area and let them interact with supervision to see how they would ideally react in your home environment.
Check into the policies of the neighborhood you are living in. You don't want to adopt the perfect dog only to give it back to the shelter because of your living area's no-pet clause policy.
No matter what decision you make adopting a dog and giving it a new home and future makes you feel great. We love that we were able to save LouLou and she has now become a well-loved family pet.
Have you adopted a dog?