Is Your Family Ready to Welcome a Dog?

Are you thinking about adopting a dog for your family?

If so, we think that’s great… but before you rush off to your local dog shelter, rescue group, or online adoption site, please consider whether your family is fully prepared to accept the lifetime responsibility of dog guardianship.

And then take some time to consider what type of dog best suits the lifestyle of the family or individual who will be the dog’s guardian.

Puppies, for example, need a lot of attention in terms of care, feeding, house training, socializing and exercise.

If your family is busy or you are caring for small children at the same time, you may want to consider adopting an older dog who may already be house trained and not need the same level of care that is required of a puppy.

Are you looking for a dog to be a companion to your mom or dad or another senior? Then please consider a senior dog. Older dogs can be wonderful companions to senior citizens. They may be very mellow and sweet tempered and the fact that they are in their golden years in terms of life expectancy may be the best fit for a senior who may not be capable of caring for a puppy now and for 15 or more years of living.

Do you know a special child or adult who may have a physical or other challenge? Some of the most wonderful experiences that have been recorded are those witnessed by the interaction of handicapped dogs with children and adults who have challenges. Seemingly, a special bond materializes between human and pooch as they draw upon each other’s strengths and travel though the joys of living and supporting each other.

What about the cost of caring for a dog?

Bringing a new dog into your family or home is bringing home a new family member. If you have any qualms about that concept, then don’t get a dog, buy a toy. Dogs need love plus nutritious food, a warm and comfortable place to sleep in your house( not in your garage or yard) , toys, vitamins, veterinary checkups , dental care and grooming. If you live in a cold climate many dogs require a coat when they go outside during inclement weather. This is just a start.

We have 2 small dogs and spend approximately $300. month on their food, supplements and veterinary health insurance. If more is needed we would happily spend it even if we had to sacrifice elsewhere.

Will you give Fido your time?

Puppies to senior dogs all need your time and attention in various degrees . Puppies need the most time but even a senior dog needs exercise, playtime and attention. If you think that a bowl of food and water are all your dog wants to be happy, put your self in his paws. Would you like to have some food put down for you and then be ignored?

I have seen too many families adopt a dog, leave the dog all day in the yard or garage with no exercise or attention, then wonder why behavioral problems manifest

Sadly I have seen little dogs left alone only to drown in a backyard fountain. Big dogs who tear up pillows in a garage may be returned to the pound as incorrigible (these are often the first to be euthanized) and others who are left chained out back for their own good, as the owners call it. None of these people should have a dog.

If you are thinking about getting a new dog, you will know that you are ready when you are not just excited but committed to the welfare of your new family member.

When you are concerned about the quality of food he eats, the veterinary care he receives, the training, grooming, exercise and time spent together that only you and your family can provide, you are ready for a dog.

My wife and I took our dogs on our honeymoon to California’s Wine country. Why? Because they are members of our family. No one else would make sure that their meds and care are handled as well as we would. And most importantly, we wanted them with us. We stayed at a wonderful lodge and found fantastic dog friendly eateries and activities everywhere.