Adopting a dog for the first time is no simple decision. From selecting the appropriate breed to contemplating the right pet care, introducing a puppy to your family takes a lot of time and research.
If you’re entirely new to pet parenthood, below are just a few things you should know when adopting your first dog.
Breed Matters A Little
Whether adopting a dog from a shelter or a reputable breeder, selecting the type of dog you want is more than an aesthetic choice. The right puppy should complement your temperament as an owner and thrive in the space you have.
For instance, if you have younger children, you’ll want to bring home a loyal, patient, and friendly dog. On the other hand, frequent travelers will want to consider a dog they can take with them on everyday adventures.
When adopting from a shelter, discuss each dog’s personality with a volunteer and what you can expect when assimilating one into your home.
Adopting a Dog Isn’t Cheap
Introducing a dog to your family is an undeniable investment. Between shopping for the appropriate supplies and taking your dog in for regular veterinary check-ups, maintaining a pet doesn’t come cheap.
Before adopting a dog, consider how much room you can make in your regular budget. Yearly expenses will include kibble, veterinary visits, dog accessories, grooming, and more.
While it may be tempting to take shortcuts to cut costs, your dog deserves the best—ensure that you are financially capable of caring for them.
You’ll Need to Puppy-Proof Your Home
Dog-proofing your home is beneficial to both you and your puppy. Newly adopted dogs can engage in destructive behaviors such as teething, scratching, and running.
Keep your dogs and your belongings safe by:
- Designating areas in your home where your dog can roam doing so prevents them from getting into hands-off spaces
- Putting away hazards such as electrical cords or fragile items
- Using pet-friendly cleaners that don’t contain harmful chemicals
- Avoiding decorating with indoor plants
- Locking cabinets and drawers that your dog can quickly get into otherwise
Choosing the Right Vet Makes a Difference
When shopping for the right veterinarian, it can be tempting to select one based on proximity and affordability. While these are vital factors in your decision-making process, you’ll want to prioritize a veterinarian with verifiable credentials and a good track record.
Create a shortlist of veterinarians in your area and do sufficient research. Read up on online reviews and consider how they respond to any negative feedback.
When visiting your chosen vet for the first time, ensure that your dog’s paperwork is complete.
It’s a Lifelong Commitment
Adopting a dog isn’t a decision you can make on a whim. When you become a pet parent, you are responsible for your dog’s welfare, health, and happiness.
Before you adopt a dog, consider how ready you are. Have you done enough research? Are you mentally and financially prepared to handle potential emergencies?
Take the time to consider whether adopting a dog is a decision you can maintain. After all, you’ll be in it for the long run!
The Bottom Line
Adopting a puppy takes considerable preparation and commitment. If you feel you’re ready to care for a dog, find out how to take one home responsibly.
About the Author
Mike is a long-time pet owner and the founder of Dog Embassy. Through this initiative, he hopes to share tips on pet care, nutrition, and more!