One of life’s greatest pleasure is sharing your home with a furry, big-eyed puppy. But adopting a dog is a huge decision. They require a lot of commitment. Dogs can live anywhere from eight to fifteen years. So that will require time and money on your part.

Really give it some good attention and make sure you have the time to commit to them before you start signing any papers. Let’s looks at some things to consider first.

Animal Shelter versus Pet Store

My personal preference is adopting through a shelter, but you are your own person and must decide which one you prefer. There have been new regulations recently and some pet stores are no longer allowed to sell dogs.

There have been some terrible stories about pet stores as well. Puppy farming, sickness and disease are just some of the topics I’ve heard. Maybe that’s why I lean toward the animal shelters so much.

The reason why

Many people don’t stop and ask themselves this question. This dog could be with you for fifteen years possibly. Make sure it’s not just a whim.

Do you have the time?

Think about your daily schedule. This about your routines. You will have to provide a safe, secure home for this animal. Do you have the time and energy to feed them, supply them with fresh water daily, take them out for exercise?

They will also look to you for love, affection and companionship. There are no days off for dog owners. And that is how some of those dogs ended up at the shelter in the first place.

Can you afford them?

Not many people stop to think about the money commitment it takes to raise and care for a dog. There are a lot of costs involved. Licensing, training, spaying and neutering, grooming, boarding when you travel, food, toys and vet visits. Do you have the necessary resources to afford all of these?

Unexpected Household Scenarios

Sometimes being a dog owner is not all puppy eyes and wagging tails. Don’t forget that your four-legged friend could attract fleas. They like to bite and chew things. They slobber. They could also get into something they are not supposed to and create a medical emergency for them or you. Are you ready to tackle anything that comes your way?

Renting a home or apartment

If you are a renter, you may not be able to have a dog where you live. Or they may charge pet rent as my place does. There is also the pet security deposit and paying for any damages upon move out.

Size of your Home

This is both the inside and outside of your home. Do you have a yard where they can run and play? Not only large dogs require room. Some smaller breeds, like Jack Russell’s are very high energy and require a lot of room inside the house. On the opposite spectrum, some large dog breeds are just big couch potatoes. Do yourself a favor and do your research on the breed before you adopt. Make sure they will fit your lifestyle.

There are other things to consider but I think we hit all the main ones. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. Like I mentioned earlier, most of the dog’s in an animal shelter are there because someone couldn’t commit to them. For their sake, don’t make the same mistake.

Having a dog by your side is very rewarding but only if you are willing to love and care for it their entire life.

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