Before You Adopt
Your new puppy or dog will most likely be a part of your life for many years. Are you ready to make that commitment? Can you afford the costs of your new pet, medical care and emergencies, boarding costs if you travel, food, toys, grooming? Is where you live appropriate for the type of pet you’ve chosen?
Is the breed and/or age of the pet you’re interested in a good fit for your lifestyle? Be honest! If you’re a couch potato at heart, your good intentions of going to the park every day with a young, active dog might not come to pass. How much time do you have available for your pet, in comparison to the needs of the pet you’ve chosen? For example, a puppy is not a good choice for someone who works long hours.
When you bring your new pet home, please realize this is all a big change for him or her! Even a young puppy has had several situations to adjust to before coming home with you. An adult dog may have had many more. Somehow or another, though no fault of her own, your new dog may have found themself homeless and then bounced around through any number of changes, and it may take them some time to settle into their new home. Try to be reasonable in your expectations. Accidents may occur. Set rules for your dog to follow and make sure everyone else in the family is prepared to follow through on those rules as well. Sometimes it can take many weeks until your pet becomes completely comfortable. Please commit to giving them that time!
If you’re adopting a dog, they might already have negative opinions of people. They might flinch when you move quickly, or raise your voice. Approach them with confidence and they will learn to be confident too. They may forget their manners, if they knew them at all, and need you to show them the rules again, consistently and fairly. It might take some time and again lots of PATIENCE but soon they will become your dog and it will all be worthwhile.
Please consider taking your dog to obedience classes! Even experienced dog owners can always learn something new. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you’ve put the effort into helping your dog be an enjoyable family member, odds are you’ll want to stay with him or her throughout their whole lives.