Adopting a dog “The secret to a successful Adoption” Part 4
A successful adoption means being reasonable about your own expectations, and about what you can offer to your new pet. You will have the best results if you consider these expectations before you make your final decision about adopting a dog.
First, you should think about what you expect from the dog you want to adopt. The role he will play in your life is one factor. Are you looking for a dog who will guard your home and family, one who will be your buddy, or a dog who will get along well with your children and other pets in your home? When you have the answers to these kinds of questions, it will help you to decide on the dog that is best for you
You also need to know the expectations you have regarding your new pet’s personality, temperament, and character. You may be looking for a dog who has a boisterous personality and is very active, or a dog who is calm and quiet. These factors also influence the kind of dog you should adopt.
As expectations are a two-way street, you also need to think about what you can offer to your new pet. You may have an abundance of free time to spend with your dog, or a
busy schedule where the amount of time you can devote to your dog will be rather limited. Although all dogs need their owners’ time, some are more demanding than others. This includes play time, and time which you must put into your dog’s upkeep. The dog you choose should fit into your lifestyle without many adjustments on either his part or yours.
The lifestyle factor is relevant to your family, also. Which person will be taking care of the dog on a regular basis is one example. Whether he will be a family dog, or primarily one person’s special pet, the responsibilities for his care should be discussed and agreed upon before you adopt him. In some families, giving a new pet to a child is often seen as a good way for youngsters to learn about responsibility. However, whether your child is a toddler or a teen, it is probably unwise to give him full responsibility for his new pet.
Although developing a sense of responsibility, and developing a relationship with a dog can both be good experiences for children, too much emphasis on responsibility may lead to him resenting his dog and not taking proper care of him. It is important to be reasonable with how much you can expect from the child.
If your family frequently takes family vacations, or if you often go away on business trips, these factors need to be considered. Whether you plan to take your dog with you on vacation, or must leave him behind when you travel, making decisions in advance about how he will fit into your lifestyle can save time, confusion, and even money, later on.
The financial obligations of a dog are important factors. Veterinarian bills, dog food, and other routine parts of dog maintenance should be thought through well in advance of adopting a dog. The upkeep and maintenance of some dogs is more costly than that of others. You must know that you can easily afford him. You would not want a high-
maintenance dog if you are on a limited budget, nor would you want unforeseen expenses after you have adopted him and brought him home.
A successful adoption includes being reasonable about your expectations. You need to know what you expect from him, and what he can reasonably expect from you. When you put a little time into thinking about these factors before you adopt a dog, you will be more likely to be completely satisfied with the dog you choose.
If your new pet will be living with your entire family, devoting some time into discussing these subjects with your family will be beneficial to everyone concerned. It will reduce the chance of unforeseen surprises, and result in the adoption being a positive experience for your new pet and every member of your household. He will truly be a welcome addition to your family.
Adopting a dog “The secret to a successful Adoption” Part 5 (Networking with others) will be on what’s on in East London Tomorrow.
Credit photo: Ron Lach