Adopting a dog into your life is a momentous occasion. From the minute your new pet enters your home, you have so many happy memories and great companionship to look forward to.
Likewise, you also have hard days and messy occasions to deal with. Are you ready to adopt a dog? According to the ASPCA, over two million dogs are adopted every year. While this is a cheering statistic, adopting a dog is a big responsibility and one not everyone is prepared for!
Below are several essential questions you need to ask before you adopt a dog.
Is It Better to Buy or Adopt a Dog?
With so many adult dogs and puppies in shelters, giving one a forever home feels good.
That said, dogs in pet stores deserve homes, too! When determining whether to buy a pet from a shelter or a pet store, consider the following details:
- Dogs from shelters are cheaper than dogs from stores
- Dogs from pet stores have a higher chance of being given a home
- Purchasing from puppy mills supports a harmful business model
Related: Top Dog Adoption Tips
10 Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Dog
Are you feeling pretty confident about adopting a dog? Remember that love isn’t enough when bringing a pet into your home.
1. Can You Afford a Dog?
Dogs are expensive. If you’re not 100% confident you’ll be able to pay for your dog’s bills, we don’t recommend adopting one quite yet.
Below is a brief list of what your dog will need to be healthy, happy, and well-adjusted:
- A healthy diet
- Pet accessories such as leashes, booties, and dog bowls
- Toys and chews for stimulation
- Routine veterinarian check-ups
- Grooming tools
2. Is Your Home and Lifestyle Pet-Friendly?
If only dogs could be compatible with every home and lifestyle! Sadly, some locations are just not dog-friendly. Likewise, your lifestyle might not be conducive to owning a pet.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine compatibility between you and a dog:
- Does your apartment accept dogs? If so, which breeds and what sizes?
- Are you willing to take your dog out for multiple walks per day?
- How often do you socialize?
- Do you already have other animals like cats or birds that will need adjusting?
- Do you travel regularly?
3. What’s the Dog’s History?
Your dog’s history will determine how smoothly your pet will transition into their new life. Puppies may start fresh, but they require much attention and training.
To contrast, an older dog will likely already know simple commands and be house-trained.
4. Is It the Right Breed for You?
Dog breeds come in different temperaments, skill sets, and sizes. One dog breed may be ideal for one person’s lifestyle but incompatible with another person’s daily routine.
For example, huskies are famous for their wolf-like appearance and fun personality. Many people don’t know that they’re very independent dogs with high energy levels, making them poor choices for sedentary owners.
5. Do They Get Along With Other People?
More introverted owners may not have to worry about this, but extroverted owners and owners with families should consider this question. If your dog doesn’t get along well with people, you could have problems in the future.
6. Do They Get Along With Other Animals?
As touched on above, you need to consider whether or not your dog is compatible with other animals in your life. The last thing you want is your newly adopted pet getting into a fight with your housecat!
When visiting a shelter, ask about dogs with a verified history of getting along with other dogs or cats.
Related: Why Is My Puppy Limping?
Adopting a dog means asking for help. We established RIFRUF to give dog owners protective accessories to make taking care of a dog as easy as possible.
7. Does the Dog Have Anxiety Issues (Can You Leave Them Alone)?
Just like us, dogs can become anxious and lonely. A dog with anxiety issues may become loud or destructive to cope, barking all day long or destroying furniture.
If you like to travel or regularly run errands, think again before getting an anxious pet.
8. Have They Had Any Training?
Do you have the time and the skill level to train a dog? Puppies may be adorable, but they’re a huge responsibility for the average dog owner. If you’re a new dog owner, triple that!
An older dog usually has a few commands, such as sit, heel, or stay. You can discuss with the shelter your need for an already trained dog so you can reduce effort on your part.
9. What Are Their Energy Levels (Activity Requirements)?
Your dog’s energy levels will speak heavily to their compatibility with your lifestyle.
To compare, high-energy dogs usually require more extended and frequent walks. If they don’t get their energy out, they may go stir crazy and destroy furniture to cope. Examples of high-energy dogs include:
- Australian Shepherd
- Standard Poodle
- Border Collie
If you want low-energy dog breeds, consider the following:
- Great Dane
- Basset Hound
- Chow Chow
10. What If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Sometimes you put all the effort you have into a dog adoption and it doesn’t work out. Despite your training and vet visits, you and the dog just aren’t compatible.
Before going to a shelter, ask your community if any friends or acquaintances want to take in a dog. It’s okay to admit you’re not the ideal owner for the dog and put them back up for adoption. Likewise, be sure to seek out a no-kill shelter, so your dog has a chance of getting a forever home.
What Do I Need After Adopting a Dog?
Adopting a dog is a huge decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. We’re not here to discourage you, but rather, encourage you to be the best possible dog owner you can be.
After adopting a dog, you need quality accessories to enhance your dog’s quality of life. We provide essential kits that cover all the basics of dog ownership, such as daily walks, hiking, and braving the elements. Dog sneakers are a vital tool to keep your dog’s paws safe from harmful chemicals and hot gravel. Likewise, a dog hoodie is a must for those chilly or rainy walks!
Are you ready to give your dog a loving and caring home? Check out our store to buy durable, comfortable dog accessories for your new best friend!