When is the Best Time to Adopt a Dog

Guest post written by Sydney Hahn

You’ve been drooling over pet shelter photos, petting every dog on the street, and you *know* you have puppy fever. So, is it time to take the plunge and get a dog? Pets add so much joy, love, and companionship into our lives, but adopting a dog is a big responsibility. Feeding & taking care of yourself is hard enough, but add another living being to the mix? That’s a different story. Before you take the leap to adopting a dog, there are a lot of things to consider. It’s important to make sure you’re ready in order to be fair to yourself and your pet. 

You know that you have time to commit 

At least in the beginning and definitely depending on the age, breed, and background of the dog, make sure that you have the time & ability to spend on a dog. Some things to consider:

  • 8 to 12 weeks old, puppy stage: you will be spending a similar amount of time on your puppy as you would on a newborn.

  • 13 weeks to 6 months: you will be spending a similar amount of time on your puppy as you would with a 5-yr old child.

  • Adult dog: much less time needs to be spent as they should be trained & lower energy. However, if you are gone all day, you may still need to make sure that someone can come during the day for a walk.

Be realistic about the energy you have.

Whether you want a high-energy English Setter or a low-energy hound, a dog is still going to require a lot of your own energy. At the minimum, dogs require walks, play time, and love & attention. Before you commit to adopting a dog, make sure you’re willing and able to put in the necessary effort.

You are willing to put in money

Buying a dog isn’t where the $$ ends. There are a lot of costs to consider when adopting a dog, so make sure you are able to afford it. Here are some things to think about:

  • Food

  • Vet bills and possibly pet insurance

  • Miscellaneous dog toys & items

  • Doggy daycare or paying someone to walk if you work all day, or you go out of town

  • Any potential wear and tear a dog might have on the house

Along with all the above costs, there are always unforeseen & additional costs when you bring another living thing into the house. Make sure you understand potential costs and are able to pay for them!

You have a big enough space

If you live in a tiny apartment with a small patio, having a dog is much harder than if you live in a rural area with a big yard. Having a dog in a small apartment is fine, but make sure you know that your space is going to be much more crowded with a furry friend. Other things to consider, Do you have children? Other pets? Roommates? Make sure that everyone is on board with the adoption before you move forward! 

You know that a dog can fit into your future

Think realistically about what your future will look like. Do you plan to have kids? Get married? Travel a lot? Make sure that your long-term goals align with that of your new furry friend’s future. Make sure you’re thinking long term, because a dog’s lifespan could be anywhere between 10-15 years, so make sure you see a pup being able to fit nicely into your life during that time.

Are you okay with a little bit of mess?

You don’t have to consider yourself a clean freak to have a difficult time with fur, slobber, and chewing. Adopting a dog, and especially if you adopt a puppy, you have to be okay with a little bit extra mess. If you know you’ll hate shedding & fur, consider adopting a short-haired dog, like a Vizsla, that has minimal shedding. If you hate slobber, it’d probably be best not to get a Basset Hound. And for goodness sake, if you can’t stand chewing, don’t get a puppy!

If you’re not quite sure you want to adopt a dog yet, you can still be there for you furry friends. We wrote an entire blog on how to volunteer at a humane society. Click here to read!

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