It’s national Adopt a Dog Month! Adding a dog (or another dog) to your family can be a great idea. Dogs make wonderful family members and great companions for seniors, children, and singles. However, there are some things to consider before you go to the local shelter to choose a new furry family member.
•Can you have a dog or another dog where you live? Some communities have pet limits. For instance, if you already have two dogs you may not be able to add a third. If you rent, you need to be sure your landlord is okay with pets. Otherwise, you and the new dog could end up homeless!
•Look at your time realistically. If you work 10 to 12 hours a day and have a commute, you may not have enough time to share with a dog. If you are juggling child care, helping with a senior parent, working part-time, and trying to attend your children’s school functions- your free time may be very limited. Dogs are social animals and need companionship.
•Look at your finances realistically. In these times of economic hardship, many dogs end up in shelters because their families could not afford their care. You need to be able to pay for food, pet supplies, pet meds and veterinary care. Budget first, then go to adopt!
•Consider your lifestyle. If you love spontaneously taking off for a weekend with friends, you may find yourself limited by a dog. Boarding is expensive, and not all hotels and resorts allow dogs.
•How much of a clean freak are you? Certainly you can limit the dog hair and mud in your house with grooming and shedding management but in reality, your house may get a little messy with dog toys, etc.
If you can honestly handle all of the above, you may be the perfect person to head to the nearest shelter and choose a companion who will love you unconditionally for his entire life. Remember, choosing to adopt saves a life!