Whether you’ve never had a pet or just recently lost one, there will come a time where you find yourself scrolling through adoption sites, looking for your next best friend. Yet, while the idea of having a dog may excite you, is it the right time? Below are just a few questions you should ask yourself before you adopt a dog:
Can you afford a dog?
The heart wants what the heart wants. Nevertheless, if you can’t afford to care for your dog, you are doing neither yourself nor the dog any favors. Dog ownership can get expensive; in the first year, you can expect to spend over $1000 on food, supplies, and veterinarian care, as well as an additional $280-1780 on one-time expenses (adoption fees, vaccinations, etc.). After that, you can expect to pay anywhere from $380 to $1170 per year depending on the dog’s health and everyday needs.
Do you have the space?
Cats have no problem living in small spaces (in fact, they almost prefer it). But dogs are not built this way. Small, laid back dogs such as bulldogs can live in an apartment fairly easily. However, larger dogs will need space to spread out, while more active dogs do better with a yard to play around in.
Do you have the time?
Even if you have the proper living quarters for your soon-to-be pup, do you have the time to take care of them? Dogs need to be walked, groomed, fed, and played with. If you don’t have this time in your schedule, your pup will suffer for it. While the coronavirus has given people more time at home, think about what your schedule will be like once you return to your usual work routine.
Why do you want to adopt?
Finally, ask yourself what is truly inspiring you to adopt a dog. Did you recently lose a pet and are missing the presence of a dog in your home? Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of owning a dog but never had the chance? These are all excellent reasons, but sometimes people adopt dogs for the wrong reasons, too.
You should NEVER adopt a dog for these reasons:
- To teach your kids about responsibility: This is a recipe for disaster and often results in a dog being neglected.
- Because it’s fashionable: A dog is not an accessory. They are a living, breathing animal that must be properly cared for.
- If someone in the family objects: All family members need to be on board because everyone in the household will have to take care of the dog at some point.