Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dog Adoption: 7 Things to Know Before Adopting a Dog

The following is reprinted from an eNewsletter from Sharda Baker’s Do-it-yourself Training Series…
Easy D.I.Y Dog Training Secrets

From the desk of Sharda Baker.
Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seeing a cute dog at the local pet shelter or a lovely puppy at a pet store shop window doesn’t mean you have to take it home. Dog adoption is a serious decision and you need to think it through very well. There are numerous things to consider such as are you ready to have a dog, what dog breed you’d like to have, will you be able to take proper care of that particular breed, how will you handle dog training and so on.

In the following lines we discuss ten of the most important issues any aspiring dog owner must address way before they welcome their new pet home.

Are you ready to have a dog? Your dog will love you unconditionally and will be your true friend for life. But your dog will also rely on you for absolutely everything – shelter, food, care, grooming, training and so on.

If you feel you want to adopt a dog, you need to ask yourself “Am I ready to take care of him or her for the next 10 or 15 years of my life?”

Dog size. Once you are certain you want to adopt a dog, you must decide about his or her size. Puppies are small and cute but think about their size when they are full grown – will you be able to take care of a dog that is over 100 pounds or you prefer a toy dog breed?
Dog size is an important consideration if you have or plan to have children too as you need to think about their safety.

Do you want a pure breed dog? Once you decide if you want a small, medium or large dog, it’s time to think about particular dog breeds. First, you’ll have to figure out if you want a pure breed dog or breed doesn’t really matter.

Regardless of your decision, you need to know that there are many rescue dogs for adoption which are pure breed so if you are looking for a particular breed you may be able to find it.
Understanding the differences between breeds will help you to pick the right pet among many dogs to adopt.

The legal process. You must be familiar with federal and local dog adoption regulations. For instance, if you’re planning to take a dog from a dog shelter, you may be asked to fill in some paperwork such as adoption application, proof of current address, proof of ownership of your current living arrangements, marital status and so on. Once you’ve been approved, you will be asked to sign a dog adoption agreement. With it you state that you’ll take full care and responsibility for the dog.

The easiest way to figure out what are the legal requirements for pet adoption is to visit your local Animal Control office and ask for advice.

Are you ready to take it home? Once you’ve completed the required paperwork and paid the necessary fees and taxes for dog adoption, you’ll be allowed to take your new family member home. But are you ready to do so?

Welcoming a pet home is pretty much the same as welcoming a newborn. You need to have a crate or a dog bed and decide where you are going to put it. Make sure you have all the basic dog accessories too – collars, a leash, water and food bowls, grooming tools and supplies, dog toys and so on.

Furthermore, you need to make sure your home is actually dog proofed. In general, you must make sure that your dog will not be able to reach anything dangerous or ruin important household items. For instance, you may want to remove any rugs and carpets until your puppy is fully housebroken.

Training and exercise. Rescue dogs are rarely trained so you will have to take care of your dog’s education. It is vital to start your pet’s training the same day you take it home, and especially if he or she is not housebroken. Do not make the common mistake of waiting several days before commencing with daily training sessions as this will only confuse your new friend further.

If you have never had a pet before, prepare yourself by reading books and articles about pet training or seek a professional dog trainer.

Plan your dog’s exercise and fun activities too. Some dog breeds don’t really need special exercise but others must be exercised regularly. Check with your vet what is the best exercise routine for your dog.

Plan for proper healthcare. Taking care of your dog’s health is of immense importance. If you neglect his or her health problems you will end up with a sick dog and hefty medical bills.

Find a good veterinarian prior to the dog adoption and visit them right after you take your dog from the dog shelter. Most dogs for adoption are not vaccinated nor treated for internal or external parasites. You will need to take care of these prior to bringing the pet home. Also, your vet will need to make a thorough examination of the pet and see if there are any outstanding health issues you need to address.

I hope that you enjoyed and learned something again from today’s newsletter.

All the best and take care


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