When you adopt a dog, you are entering into a long-term commitment to take care of it. Adopting the dog is not as simple as filling out an application and paying the required fee. Once the dog comes home, he is entirely your responsibility. So ask yourself the following questions before going in for adoption.
Do you know what it takes to keep a dog?
Keeping a dog is a lot of work that involves time and energy. Your responsibility doesn’t end with taking it out for a daily walk. While that is essential, there are other things like regular feeding, grooming and cleaning up.
Dogs are not always as obedient or responsible as we would like them to be. They may mess up the furniture or even cause serious damage. You need to be patient with them. Training dogs take firmness and consistency too. If you have never had a dog as a pet, it is a good idea to take care of your friend’s or neighbor’s dog for a few days before taking the plunge.
Is this the right time?
You may have wanted to adopt a dog all your life, and now you have spotted exactly the kind of dog you wanted. But that may not be a good reason to go in for adoption right now. A dog should be adopted only if you have sufficient time and means to take good care of him, especially in the housebreaking period.
Sometimes people try to fill in the void left by a loved one by adopting a dog or some other pet. While dogs are great stress busters and good to have around when you are depressed, they tend to be neglected when people go through times of major upheaval. A new dog in the house is not the same as one that has been in the family for some time.
Some situations that make it the wrong time to adopt a dog:
- Birth of a baby
- Illnesses in the family
- Impending separation or recent divorce
- Death of dear ones
- Changing jobs or houses
Maintaining a dog is not cheap even when you get to adopt it for a nominal fee. Vaccination and spaying costs money, as does regular medical check-ups and medications for common illnesses. If the dog is not a trained one, or has some deficiency in his training, you may have to join him for obedience courses. Food for the dog is also a major expense. If you get outside help for grooming and exercising the dog, it will cost money. Then there are unexpected costs like grievous injury and serious illnesses. You are required to pay for any damages caused by your dog too.
Are you ready for this commitment?
Many people go in for adoption on a sudden urge to have a pet. Others feel sorry for a homeless dog and take it in. Some of them regret their decision later, and start neglecting the poor dog or even surrender it back to the shelter. It’s just not fair on the dog. You are bound to suffer emotionally too. You should go for adoption with your eyes wide open, and only if you are ready for this commitment right now.