Adopting a dog

Adopting a dog - The Passionimo guide

Thinking about adopting a dog? Passionimo gives you professional advice on the subject.

They’re beautiful… adorable. You can already see them in their favourite spot at home. If you have children, a dog will be a faithful protector in addition to being a playmate on days off from school and during holidays. To you, the dog will be a friend; a comforting presence that will always be there for you. Yes, this dog is the embodiment of a lovely dream for your welcoming home.

Questions to ask yourself before adopting a dog

But remember, this little puppy is also a living thing: it moves, eats and has feelings. And you can’t always predict how it’s going to act. A dog simply doesn’t have an on/off switch.

Ask yourself the right questions before adopting a dog.

Do I have time for a pet?

It is important to know why you want to have a dog and the role he will play in your family. Will he be alone for a long time? If so, he may be experiencing separation anxiety. Do you have time to go for daily walks? When you go on vacation, will you travel with or without your dog? Will you be the only person caring for your pet or will it be a family responsibility?

A very or not very active dog?

What will you do with your dog on a daily basis?

Will you walk and run with your pet? Will the dog be stuck in the yard? Will this be an apartment dog?

We have to keep in mind that breeds were not created for just one purpose. This may bring your attention on the expectation you should have regarding a dog’s needs when it comes to physical activities and mental stimulation.

What is the best dog size for you?

Some dogs are huge; others aren’t any bigger than a rabbit. Is your house (or your car) big enough for a Saint Bernard? Do you live in town or in the country? Genetically, some dogs need to run every day. If you keep them in a small space or studio apartment downtown, for instance, they might become unhappy and that distress will manifest in their behaviour.

A puppy or an adult dog?

When you adopt a puppy, even if you’ve had dogs before, it’s a good idea to attend training classes with the dog. And just as children make friends at daycare, puppies love and need to socialize with others their age. What’s more, each dog should be considered as unique… An individual.

You should also consider that a dog needs a lot of attention and training to cover many aspects of their day. And of course, when out and about (or even in your home), you have to guide your dog when interacting with the world. Your dog needs to know and obey your rules. And like humans, a dog learns through repetition, success and reinforcement. You have to be patient! It’s often easier with a puppy, because they’re sort of like a brand-new hard drive. They don’t have any unwanted baggage from another family yet.

If you have young children, it might be better to adopt a puppy that will grow with them. The dog will get used to the sounds and noises of the house. Unlike an older dog, a puppy won’t have to adapt to a different environment. However, current statistics show that many of the young puppies that are adopted every year, are relocated…Their new “parents” don’t want them anymore. They weren’t prepared for the work and the costs involved by this new family members. They were misinformed. Will that be you?

Again, before adopting a puppy (or adult dog), you should consult a professional. Like a vet or a member of your veterinary team. Eventually, the vet will be able to recommend the appropriate resources because they will know and appreciate the credibility and professionalism of experts in animal behaviour, training and grooming, for example.

If you’re thinking of adopting an adult dog, it’s a really nice thing to do as shelters are filled with dogs waiting for a forever home. Unlike a puppy, an adult dog is already “fully formed”. You already know the dog’s personality, and it’s not going to suddenly change. When you adopt, you already know what the dog’s needs will be and what kind of challenges there are ahead in order to integrate with a new family.”

An adult dog was probably trained a little differently than what you would have done with a puppy. Your house rules might not be the same as what the dog was used to in their previous home. For example, maybe the dog was allowed to jump on the owners to greet them, but that’s not something you want. Your dog will have to “unlearn” some old rules that were learnt when they were young.

How much will all this cost?

In general, there are fewer costs associated with an adult dog, since all the expenses associated with a puppy have already been taken care of. Also, because the dog has stopped growing, it won’t be necessary to buy numerous harnesses or leashes, or to modify their diet. It’s quite simple.

In the U.K., pets are covered by insurance in most households. In Québec, the service is not as popular. However, insurance can be very advantageous for dog owners. Simply setting aside a fixed monthly amount can provide enormous peace of mind when faced with an accident or illness. Of course, you also have to budget for food, accessories, grooming, boarding, permits, etc.

Foster family of a dog

In the end, when we adopt, we wish to provide a forever home. Before committing to it, why not giving it a try by becoming a foster family for a shelter for a few weeks? This way, you will see what it really involves and you may even find the perfect dog for your family!

Have more questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact the Passionimo veterinary clinic near you.

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