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Dogs are loving and devoted, but they also require some planning. Reflect on these points before adopting a dog to ensure you have a safe and welcoming home. You’ll know exactly which dog is best for you and how to make them comfortable.
1. Think About Your Schedule
You’ll want to spend every minute with your puppy or adult dog when you bring them home. Everything will be new and fun, but eventually, you’ll need to return to your other responsibilities.
Do your long work or school hours keep you away from your house for more than eight hours daily? Are you always traveling? Your dog will need bathroom breaks every few hours and meals throughout the day. Before adopting a dog, you should feel confident about fitting them into your long-term schedule.
2. Prepare For Puppy Vaccinations
When visiting your local animal shelter, you might find a puppy looking for a home. If you want to make them part of your family, remember — they may need numerous vaccinations, depending on their health history.
Puppies need multiple appointments to get on track with their first year of vaccinations. The
Ontario Veterinary Medical Association found the total could cost around $524, while neutering or spaying could range between $761–$838.
Adult dogs also need vaccinations, but they typically only happen once a year. The adoption shelter can explain what they know about the dog you love to help you gauge your financial plan.
3. Reach Out To Your Landlord
It might not seem like a dog could affect your lease agreement, but landlords often want to know which animals stay on their properties. Check with yours to ensure your lease allows dogs, then inquire about potential new bills. They may charge a pet security deposit, and a one-time or monthly pet rent fee.
These fees are more common because landlords want to put money aside for their growing rental audience. Research shows 44% of millennials view pets as their kids or family. As the generation most likely to rent currently or start renting soon, landlords use the fees to replace pet-stained carpets and dog-related damage between tenants.
4. Research Potential Dog Food
Your puppy or adult dog will need healthy food at least twice daily. There are tons of brands to consider, so research your options before your pup comes home. Their dry or wet kibble should include essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins to keep them healthy. It also needs to match their age, which the shelter can help you estimate.
If you don’t know where to start, contact your local veterinarian. They’ll indicate which brands they trust most and which nutrients are most important for dogs. It might inspire you to make treats from scratch with sweet potatoes and apples alongside your pup’s standard kibble meals.
5. Secure Your Living Space
Dogs of all ages need a safe home environment. If you adopt a puppy, remove anything that could be dangerous to bite while they teethe, like accessible cleaning supplies or trinkets small enough to choke on. When you fall in love with an older dog, remove anything that could scare them, like decor resembling snakes or a coat rack full of jackets resembling human figures.
The most recent annual report from the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society found people adopt over 1,200 dogs annually, so you might get tons of advice from loved ones when you’re ready to bring your pup home. Listen to their tips, and remember extra steps like these to make your dog comfortable and safe.
6. Reflect On Your Allergies
Some dog breeds shed continuously, while others are hypoallergenic. If you’re unsure about your allergies, get a quick test with your primary care provider. They can conduct a skin-prick or blood test to determine if you can comfortably become a dog parent.
Consider your loved ones, too. They may not come over or visit you in enclosed spaces if pet hair lingers on you and triggers their allergies. It could influence the breed of dog you bring home.
Modern over-the-counter antihistamines start working within 50 minutes but aren’t something people should take every day, all year long. Do what’s best for your allergies and those of your loved ones. A hypoallergenic pup like a Goldendoodle or a Portuguese water dog could support your health while expanding your family.
Prepare Before Adopting Your Dog
Once you’ve considered these essential points, you’ll feel more prepared to adopt a dog. Consider your health needs, living arrangement and budget to determine the best pup for your life. You’ll find your new best friend without extra stress ruining the experience.
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