Want to Get a Dog for the New Year? Know This Before You Adopt

by on 09/01/11 at 8:31 am

With the New Year comes a myriad of resolutions made around the world. Some are kept, most are broken, but there is no denying that the first of January is seen as a clean slate, a time to renew spirits and sensibility and taken on things we haven’t done before. Some of you may want to start off 2011 by adopting a four-legged friend into the family, and what that is a nice gesture it is not one that should be done lightly. Before you rush out to your nearest shelter, here are a few things to consider.

Dogs are living creatures that require attention and care, especially during the initial period of adjustment after you bring one home. If you maintain a busy lifestyle that keeps you away from home often, consider the consequences of bringing home a dog that will likely stay in your house longer than you. Do you have the resources to ensure it is fed and looked after in your absence? If not, adopting a pet may not be in the card for you just yet, but you may wish to adjust your lifestyle to make it happen. If that is what you want, here are some more things to ponder:

Can you afford it? Contrary to some beliefs, adopting a pet isn’t necessarily free. You may be expected to pay fees related to medical care, licensing and neutering. Once you have a dog, then you have to buy food on a regular basis, and vitamins and toys and other accessories. Before you get your dog, check your budget first.

Are you healthy enough? You may have never before exhibited allergic reactions to furry animals, but if you’ve only occasionally been exposed to dogs your experience may differ by having one around all the time. You may want to consider a check up or allergy test to determine that bringing a dog with his dander into your home is a good idea.

Is the dog healthy enough? It’s not uncommon for shelters to rescue dogs that have been abused, or of advanced age. These dogs with special needs are most in need of a good home, and you must decide if you are prepared to open your home and heart to a dog that may require medical attention.

Once you have done the math and weighed the pros and cons of your situation, then you can look into bringing a pet home. Know first that you can take care of him and yourself.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on pet supplies and dog supplies.

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