Adopting a pet can be a very rewarding and satisfying experience and in many cases you will have saved that pets life. In the case of dogs, they seem to know you have saved them and are forever grateful. But before you bring home any animal you should educate yourself about the their specific characteristics and needs.
In the case of dogs, one example would be to not bring home a Jack Russell Terrier if you like a nice calm household and don't bring home a Border Collie if you are a couch potato. Be sure to do your research first.
What's the Process
As an adopter or new pet owner you have certain responsibilities and considerations before you bring home a new pet. Here's a partial list.
Adopting a Dog
Is this Dog Good with Kids?
It's a question we often here and really should be re-phrased as, "Are your kids good with dogs?" Toddlers and small children often don't know not to pull the dogs tail or poke them in the eyes and so it's always wise to supervise dogs around children and never leave them alone together. It's a rare dog that will tolerate anyone jumping on them and poking them.
Are you fully prepared for the time required to take care of your new dog?It's not just the time every day, but for the life of the dog. Having a dog has been described as being "like having a two year old for the next 15 years"
Puppies don't come into your home fully trained. Some rescue dogs are trained, others have had no training. When you get a dog though, be prepared to put in time and money to properly train your dog.
Some breeds are more prone to specific medical conditions so please be aware of these and the possible expense. Regular check ups and vaccinations will cost on average $300 - $500 per year. If your dog requires other care, the bills can be much higher. The total cost of having a dog for one year can exceed $ 1,500.
Food, Treats, Toys, Beds
To keep your pet healthy and happy you need to not only buy good dog food, but treats, toys and other items. A good resource for researching quality ingredients in commercial dog foods is www.dogfoodadvisor.com Also, keep in mind that children's stuffed toys and bedding is often treated with flame-retardant chemicals that can seriously sicken a pet if ingested. Shop for quality toys made specifically for pets!
Research the breed of dog you want. Find out what they are generally like and be sure they fit your lifestyle. Terriers were often bred to kill vermin. They might not be a good fit if you have a Cat, Hamster or a Bunny. Herding breeds instinctively want to control movement. Without training and an appropriate outlet, they might like to chase (and nip) joggers or the garbage truck, and can react to prolonged eye contact with kids. Working breeds need...work. Hounds follow their nose. Northern Breeds tend to run, and run, and run, and need lots of training on recall. Non-shedding breeds can require more grooming, trims and maintenance, and mixes promoted as non-shedding may not actually live up to the claims.
Things to consider
The amount of shedding :: how much exercise the dog requires :: have you researched good humane training classes nearby that fit your schedule :: any pre-exisiting medical conditions :: are you prepared for accidents in the house :: who will care for your dog when you go on holidays :: can you afford a Dog Walker for those days when you have to work late?
You're Ready to Proceed
So, now your ready to proceed with actually finding the right pet for you to adopt. Here's what to expect from the Rescue Groups that have dogs available on this site.
You will be required to fill out an application form, provide information about yourself, your family, provide at least two references and a reference from your veterinarian (if you currently have a pet).
You will also be asked about the type of pet you would like to adopt or if you have your eye on one already, you would include the pet's name on your application form to adopt. Once your application form has been reviewed and your references checked, a home check will need to be completed.
The Rescue will now try to find you the best possible match. The final step in the process is to pay the adoption fee and sign the adoption contract.
Thank you for considering Pet Adoption. Together we can make a difference.