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Adopt A Dog

Adopt A Dog

YAY you!   Adopting a dog from the thousands of dogs without homes is a sure way to bring upon GOOD KARMA. You have found the perfect place to begin your adoption process. We are working together with Pet Adoption to provide you the largest listing of adoptable dogs on the internet.

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What to Consider Before You Adopt a Dog

Before selecting a dog for your family, it is crucial to research dog breeds and ask yourself some important questions.

Are you and your family willing to make a 10 – 15 year commitment to the wellness, health and life of the dog?

Many things can happen during this period of time, you can move, lose a job, start a new relationship, etc. Will the health and wellness of the dog you adopt remain a priority in the midst of challenging times?

Is anyone in your home allergic to dogs, or do you know for sure no one isn’t?

How Old Are the Members of Your Family?

Children under seven years old are usually not developmentally suited for puppies less than 5 months old and/or any dog under 15 pounds. Puppies can unintentionally injure a youngster with their sharp baby teeth and toenails. The puppy can then become feared and ignored rather than loved.

Small breed dogs are fine-boned, touch-sensitive canines that do not do not fair well with rough or clumsy handling. They are at higher risk for bone fractures and are quick to bite than their larger counter-parts.

Unless your children are unusually sensitive, docile, and respectful individuals, a medium-to-large dog over 5 months old is the better choice. Regardless of size, all interactions between small children and dogs should be monitored by a responsible adult. If there is no one available to supervise, they should be separated. On the other end of the scale, strong, vigorous adolescent dogs are not a good idea for the frail elderly or physically challenged individuals.

Who Will Be the Dog’s Primary Caretaker?

Back in the day, Mom would be at home looking after things, including the family pet. However, most families today do not have this option. The parents head to work and the kids are off to school for the day. This leaves the family dog to be lost between sports, lessons, and chores and so on. One parent should be designated Primary Caretaker to ensure the dog does not get lost in the shuffle.

Some parents bow to their children’s plead for a dog. Their children tearfully promise that they will take care of this soon-to-be best friend. However, the fact of the matter is, during a dog’s 10 – 15 year lifespan, your children will transition between various life stages and the family pet’s importance to them will wax and wain. You cannot saddle a child with total responsibility for the family dog and threaten to get rid of it if the child is not providing that care. It is not fair to a child or dog.

Choosing a family dog should involve all family members. Ideally th family dog should not be a gift from one family member to all the others. The selection experience is one the entire family can share. Doing some research and polling each family member about what is important to them in a dog will help pin down what you will be looking for. Books like Daniel Tortora’s THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOU or The ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs can be tremendously helpful and can warn you away from unsuitable choices for your family’s circumstances.

How Much Can I Spend On A Dog?

Pricing on dogs vary from “free-to-a-good-home” to several thousand dollars. Remember, you do not always get what you pay for. Pet shop prices are usually 2 to 3 times higher than a reputable breeder for the same puppy of similar and they are generally of better quality.

Unfortunately, far too many people spend all their money on a pet shop purchase and then have no money left for initial veterinary care, training or obedience classes and other necessary expenses. Remember, the purchase price of a dog is only a small portion of what the dog will cost you. Factor in the cost of food (especially large breeds), grooming (fancy breeds such as Shih Tzus and Poodles need to have their coats clipped every 4 – 6 weeks), chew toys (especially hard core chewers like a Mastiff or Bull Terrier who can make it through a $8.00 rawhide bone in a single sitting), outerwear for short-coated breeds like Chihuahuas and Whippets must have sweaters and coats in cool climates), and other supplies like beds, bowls, brushes, shampoos, flea products, collars, leashes, gates, leashes, heartworm preventative etc). Of course, there is the veterinary care and emergency visits!

Few dogs will live out their lives without at least one accident. Puppies can get into all sorts of trouble such as eating foreign objects like pantyhose, diapers, and a small-boned toy bread can break a leg, your dog can get by another dog and the list goes on. These unanticipated costs can upwards of $500. Unlike children, most of our dogs are not covered by health insurance.

Does Your Activity Level Match The Dog Breed You Are Interested In?

Money is not the only a question. How much time and energy you have available and how much of that time you are wiling to spend is another one. The breed and age of the dog will have varying demands on your precious spare time. Generally, Hounds, Sporting, Terrier, and Herding breeds will require more training time and daily exercise than Companion and Guardian breeds. A puppy or adolescent will also require more supervision, exercise, and training, than an adult dog. And in the first year any new dog, regardless of breed or age, will demand more time establishing house rules and routines which will develop a lasting balance in the household. The new dog must fit the current physical capabilities of his keepers with an eye toward what the next 10-15 years will bring.

Are you prepared to walk a dog rain or shine, summer or winter?

Remember that your pooch will rely on you to get most of it’s exercise. Most dogs don’t care about bad weather but will that keep you huddled inside? This should be an important consideration in your choices.

Do You Have Or Will You Need A Doggy Sitter?

Will your dog be left home alone for long periods of time? Certain dog breeds like the chihuahua or Golden Retriever suffer badly from separation anxiety if left alone and are bored for long periods. Doggy day care or a sitter is an option but if your job requires a lot of your time you should take this into consideration and choose your breed carefully (you may even want to reconsider your decision to get a dog at all).

How to Decide on What Breed of Dog to Adopt

Unfortunately, America and other nations have become disposable pet owners. All dogs deserve better and shelter dogs, who have gone though so much already, need a FOREVER home. Choose your dog wisely.

References: Jacque Lynn Schultz, C.P.D.T., Companion Animal Programs Adviser. National Outreach

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