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Commitments to Make Before Adopting a Dog

golden retriever dog holding red leash outside walkThere is a heavy push for dog lovers to choose adoption over buying and breeding, and rescuing a four-legged friend is a commendable thing to do. That being said, it’s important to make sure you’re taking that creature into your home for good. Many people have kind intentions when taking on the responsibility for an animal life, but unfortunately, poor planning and impulsive decision-making can result in an unsatisfying situation for both them and the pets involved. If you’re thinking about becoming a pet parent, here are a few commitments you should make sure you can stick to before going all the way.

I Can Provide the Right Environment

Before you seriously start thinking about adoption, look around at your current environment. Dogs do better when they have more space to roam. Apartment living probably wouldn’t be the best option for a dog (especially a large one), and even if you do have a house, it’s important to make sure it’s dog friendly. If you have a fenced in yard, or plan on installing a wireless pet fence, that’s ideal for any pup. Dogs are curious creatures that prefer to be able to smell around and keep watch on the house, so make sure the atmosphere you’d be bringing one into easily accommodates those needs.

I Have the Time and Patience to Give to a Dog

Dogs require a lot of work, and this is the area that tends to catch new pet owners by surprise. Feeding them twice a day, letting them out to go to the bathroom, and going on an occasional walk are not the only three responsibilities that come with taking in a canine. In order to keep their physical and mental health in tip-top shape, you’ll need to make sure you have the time to wear them out every day. Pent-up energy can cause dogs to show many signs of anxiety, so if you have a job that demands long hours or frequent travel, it might not be the best situation to bring a pet into.

Exercise isn’t the only thing you’ll need to worry about though; unless you know for sure that the animal has been trained, you might have to spend some time working on basic training tips yourself. This can require a large amount of patience, so you might want to re-think your decision if you’re the type to lose your cool quickly.

I Have the Proper Finances and Resources

Unfortunately, food and toys aren’t the only expenses associated with being a dog owner. Vet bills aren’t cheap, but investing in a spay/neuter operation, frequent check-ups, and updated shots are necessary in order to give your hound a healthy, long life.

If you’re renting your house, most landlords require a deposit (some even require monthly pet rent), so make sure that you can square away the finances before you bring the animal into your home.

I Am in This for the Long Haul

Most dogs are extremely pack-oriented, and they’ll attach themselves to you fairly quickly. It’s important that you feel confident that you can love and provide for one for the rest of their life. Many individuals seem to hold the attitude that animals are like property; if it doesn’t work out, you can give it away. On the contrary, dogs have emotional needs and feelings that need to be looked out for, so make sure you can provide a forever home. A sudden change in the environment can have long-lasting and traumatic effects on the creature, so make sure you’re mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the responsibility and commitment.

Adopting a dog is a serious issue, and it’s important to make sure you have the right environment, attitude, and finances to provide a fulfilling life for your new best friend. These guidelines aren’t meant to deter you from taking the plunge into pet parenthood, but they can help you ensure that you have all the elements to make your new life change a happy and successful journey for both you and the new addition to your family.

Guest post written by Ron Rutherford.

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