Thinking About Adopting a Dog?  

Things to Think About

Owning a pet isn't always easy.  Pets require, and deserve, the time, attention, exercise and medical treatment required to stay healthy and safe.  Adopting a pet should be a lifetime commitment.  Be sure to check your city or county ordnances regarding breed specific legislation.

If you're thinking of getting a dog, please remember all dogs are individuals so don't just judge them by the way they look.   

  1. Recognize the Commitment.  Dog ownership is not something to be entered into lightly. Owning a pet is a long-term emotional and financial commitment. Before deciding that a certain pet is right for you, you must make an honest assessment as to whether your home is right for the pet, especially a dog.

  2. Evaluate Your Lifestyle.  If you get a dog he (or she) will become a part of your life. You need to make sure that he’s suited for your lifestyle. For example, if you are athletic, you will probably not be happy with a dog that has a low energy level. If you are extremely neat, you will probably want a dog that doesn’t shed much. All aspects of your family’s life – hobbies, activities, personalities, schedules – should be evaluated before you get a dog.

  3. Make a List.  Based on your evaluation, determine what qualities you want in a dog. Consider size, energy level, grooming needs, trainability and temperament. Do you want a guard dog or a lap dog? Is it important that your dog get along with children? If you rent your home, are there restrictions on height, weight or breed? Answer these questions now – once you bring a dog home, it can be heartbreaking to realize that you made the wrong choice.

  4. Visit Your Local Rescue.  Be prepared to spend time at the shelter or rescue to evaluate the dog that interests you.  Be mindful that the dog is living in a high-stress environment and that it may take several days, or longer, for his true personality to materialize once adopted.  You may need the assistance of a trainer should behavior concerns become evident.  

  5. Ask Questions.  Ask the shelter or rescue staff any questions you can think of about the dog. If a dog has been fostered, you should be able to obtain some good information regarding social skills, training, behavior, and health.  Be sure to ask about quirks, favorite toys or food, and other habits that may influence your decision to adopt.

  6. Consider an Older Dog.  Puppies require a lot of attention and care and they aren't for everyone. If an older dog better fits your lifestyle, don't be afraid to adopt.  Senior dogs deserve a second chance at happiness and often have the qualities and traits owners are looking for.  

  7. Expect Questions.  A responsible shelter or rescue contact will ask you extensive questions about the type of home you can offer a dog. These people are as committed as you are to making the right match between you and a dog. Give honest answers to their questions. If you have another dog in the household, you will be expected to conduct a meet and greet with the adoptable pet.

  8. Don't Buy a Pet as a Gift.  Many people try to buy puppies as Christmas gifts for children or other family members. This is not recommended as too often these pets are surrendered to a shelter. A better idea is to give dog-related gifts – toys, leashes, grooming tools – and then bring your puppy home when all the excitement has died down.

"Chibi"

Chibi, like hundreds of other pets, was purchased as  "gift" for a family member who didn't want her. 

This adorable pup is so sweet and has so much love to give that it's hard to understand why someone wouldn't want her. 

Chibi was rehomed and she couldn't be happier!  

All Pets Deserve

Love and compassion

Fresh food and water daily

A comfortable bed

Safe, durable toys

Exercise and enrichment

Human contact

Appropriate shelter

Vaccinations

Medical treatment

Flea and tick preventative

Praise

Spay or neuter

Microchip and ID tags

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