From providing invaluable companionship to giving us a strong sense of security and unconditional love, dogs are an incredible source of joy. Not only do they offer their owners physical and emotional health benefits, but they also provide a feeling of accomplishment from taking care of another living being.
Rehoming a pet from an animal shelter can be even more rewarding; not only are you providing a loving home to an animal in need, you’re also helping reduce the estimated 6.4 million homeless animals in America annually. Adopting a dog provides numerous advantages over buying one from a breeder or pet store.
Need for Constant Attention
Dogs need exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation. However, with some effort, a dog will reward you with loyalty, affection, and a tail that wags so hard it might just knock over your coffee table.
The initial adoption fee can be high, but it is only the beginning. You must also consider the costs of food, toys, vet bills, and training classes. You could spend hundreds of dollars depending on the breed and size of your dog. Being unprepared for the cost could impact your experience.
Lifestyle and Living Situation
Think of your living situation before adopting a dog. If you rent, consider if your lease allows pets. If you own, think about your yard. If you don’t have enough space, you may need to walk your dog regularly. Think about your neighbors and whether they would be okay with the sound of barking.
Take note of your lifestyle as well. If you’re away from home for most of the day, make dog sitting arrangements. Dogs are social creatures, and they crave human interaction. They can become anxious or destructive if left alone for too long.
A good doggy daycare can help if you work long hours. Being a responsible dog owner doesn’t mean forgoing your responsibilities. That being said, some breeds are more independent than others. Some research can help you identify the best breed for your lifestyle.
Consider the Breed
Choose the right breed for your lifestyle. If you’re a couch potato, a high-energy breed like a border collie might not be the best fit. If you’re an avid runner, a chihuahua might not keep up. Different breeds have different needs and temperaments. Choose one that fits with your personality and lifestyle.
Remember that dog ownership is a long-term commitment. Dogs can live up to 15 years. Don’t pick a breed that you wouldn’t enjoy being with for a long time. You must be willing to make sacrifices and stay patient during the training process.
Age and Size Matter
Puppies are adorable, but they need a great deal of attention. They need to be housebroken, trained, and socialized. Adopting an adult dog makes sense if you don’t have the time or patience for that. Usually, adult dogs are already trained. They can be just as loving and loyal as puppies.
The size of your dog matters as well. Managing small dogs is easier than managing bigger ones. However, they are fragile and prone to health issues. Large dogs require more space and exercise. They may be inappropriate for homes with small children. Choose a size that fits with your lifestyle and living situation.
Adopting a dog is a big decision. It requires time, money, and long-term commitment. However, dogs are worth the trouble. They will reward you with unconditional love and a best friend who never judges you. Do your research and choose the right breed.