Dogs play a special role in a home, bringing laughter, love and warmth. But dog ownership comes with great responsibility and it’s important to consider all the elements of that commitment before beginning the adoption process.
Getting your home ready
Just as a home needs to be prepped for the arrival of a new baby, you must also make preparations for dog adoption. In fact, many shelters will even check whether your home is suitable for dog ownership with a site visit before approving your application.
If you’re a homeowner, be sure to take steps to make your home more dog friendly.
Decide in advance which rooms of the house your dog will be allowed to enter. Baby gates work well as barriers. Have all the necessary items such as a leash, collar, crate and toys ready for your new dog’s arrival. Areas of the home that contain dangerous substances should also be safeguarded. For example, medications and cleaning supplies should be stored securely.
If you’ve never owned a dog before, you may not have paid much attention to your neighborhood’s dog parks, trails and walking routes. Study these locations in advance so you don’t have any questions on day one.
Where to adopt
Between six and eight million cats and dogs enter shelters each year, and 2.7 million adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in such shelters annually, according to The Humane Society. Rather than buying a dog from a breeder, check out your local rescue shelter.
“Adoption has become the preferred way to find a new dog, puppy, cat or kitten,” said Abbie Moore, executive director of adoptapet.com. “Not only is this often a more affordable route, but you are saving a life in the process.”
You should already have identified the veterinarian you plan to use before taking your dog home, as a dog’s medical care should begin immediately after adoption.
Remember to budget for dog ownership. Beyond regular supplies, food, vaccinations and check-ups, add in some padding as an emergency fund.
Nothing is quite like coming home after a long day and being greeted by man’s best friend. With a dog adoption, you can make your home an even more welcoming, comfortable place.