Have you been considering adopting a dog, but you’re not sure whether it’s the right choice for you?
There are many benefits to adopting a dog, but if you’re not quite ready, your new family expansion might turn into a nightmare! How could a new dog result in a nightmare situation? Let’s take a look!
Bringing a new dog home requires time for you both to adjust to your new life together. Whether you are adopting a puppy or an adult dog, it is important that you take the time to help your new family member adjust. Most people do this by taking a week or so off work. This time allows for working on potty training, helping their new adult dog to learn the rules of the home, and building a healthy bond with their new companion.
Time is also a necessity for everyday life with a dog. Your dog will require daily walks, bonding time with you, and regular veterinary and grooming care. Before you bring your new pup home, ask yourself whether you are willing to give up this time.
Not devoting enough time to your new dog can result in maladjustment, problem behavior, and failed bonding.
The Financial Commitment in Adopting a Dog
Adding a new furry member to your family requires a financial commitment. Depending on the size, breed, and overall health of your dog, the level of your financial commitment will vary. Current research, however, puts the cost of caring for a healthy dog at just over $1,000 during the first year. Following years are estimated at $500 until seniorhood.
Financial commitment doesn’t only mean committing to the “normal” expenses of dog ownership such as food, monthly preventative medications, toys, treats, grooming, training, and routine veterinary care. Additional expenses worth considering are the cost of daycare, a dog walker (we know some great ones!), and emergency veterinary care.
Financial strain is one of the most common reasons that families give when they drop their dogs off at a shelter. This is why it is important for you to consider the cost of your commitment before you make it.
Inability to financially care for your new dog can result in their illness, malnutrition, behavioral problems, and even death.
The Overall Commitment in Adopting a Dog
A dog’s lifespan varies from breed to breed and individual to individual. When you open your home to a dog, you are making a commitment to this entire lifespan. This means that whether your dog lives for 8 years or 18 years, you must be prepared to care for them indefinitely.
Another factor that goes into your commitment to your dog is a commitment to their health. As your dog’s guardian, you are responsible for making medical decisions in regard to their health. These decisions are not always going to be easy and may one day include euthanasia. Are you prepared to make this kind of commitment?
A lack of commitment to your new dog can result in behavioral problems. It can also lead to your dog being euthanized if returned to a shelter.
It may sound like there are a lot of drawbacks and responsibilities to owning a dog and there can be! But, it is important to know that there are way more benefits than inconveniences in owning a dog. Adding a dog to your life will bring you loyal companionship, proven mental health benefits, a willing exercise partner, a new way to meet friends, an increased sense of security, and an improved immune system! And, seriously, who can pass up on those furry cuddles at the end of the day?