Because adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment it is extremely important to take many things into consideration. Here are some things to think about before you welcome a new family member:
Children in the Household
According to an article entitled New Additions found in Rescue Me magazine children should not view the new dog as a toy and as the only one that has to make adjustments. To encourage the dog associating children with pleasure the children of the family should take part in activities such as feeding the dog, walking the dog and relaxing on the sofa with the dog. Tamar Geller suggests that when children participate in such activities the dog will begin to look for interactions with them.
Is Everyone On Board? Will the Dog Like Us?
All household/family members should be present during the initial meeting with the potential dog. This is to ensure that the family and dog are both equally matched.
Who Will Take Care of Him?
I know that in most families children always profusely say they will be the ones to care for the dog, but usually after the excitement of getting the new dog wears off, so does the care. Work and school schedules should be taken into consideration so that the animal will always have a caregiver.
Don’t Overlook the Older Dog
A middle-aged or senior dog could be a great candidate for adoption. These dogs are usually the product of a divorced couple or of a deceased owner. This means they are most likely housebroken and are already adapted to car rides and neighborhood walks.
Can I Afford One or Another One?
A discussion should take place as to whether or not the family can afford a new animal. Types of questions should arise such as:
- Can I afford purchasing double the amount of dog food?
- Will I be able to afford unexpected emergency vet visits?
- Can I afford to get another dog licensed and vaccinated?
Good luck on your quest to finding another furry family member! There are many available resources to educate one on whether or not they are ready for another animal.