According to the ASPCA, pet parents adopt around 2 million dogs every year.
Choosing to adopt a rescue dog is an act of love that extends far beyond the increasing popularity of the "adopt don't shop" hashtag on social media. That said, it pays to know what types of dogs will suit you and your home best, as well as how to care for your new four-legged friend. Otherwise, you may fall prey to the common dog adoption mistakes that many others before you have encountered.
But what are these errors and how can you avoid them when navigating the dog adoption process? Let's take a look!
1. Failing to Consider the Logistics
Even if your rental agreement even allows you to have a pet dog, it may have restrictions on different dog sizes and breeds. And for those of you who work long hours or travel a lot, think before you commit. Many people learn the hard way that a dog is incompatible with a busy lifestyle.
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2. Not Anticipating Dog Ownership Costs
Many people come unstuck when adopting a dog as they underestimate the cost involved. Beyond the initial adoption fee, you'll also need to budget for dog food, training, vaccinations, pet insurance, home supplies, and boarding when you travel.
3. Ignoring the Warnings from Shelter Staff
Rescue dogs often come with challenges that shelter staff will warn you about long before you start the dog adoption process. Some may not get on with kids while others might have health issues or psychological problems such as separation anxiety.
Take these warnings seriously! Shelter workers know what they're talking about so ignoring them and assuming that the dog will be different in your home is a huge error. Unfortunately, it's one that many rescue dog parents make and live to regret.
4. Underestimating Care Requirements
Although adopting a dog is rewarding, it's still a lifetime commitment. As well as making space in your home and schedule, you'll need to factor in dog dieting and exercise implications, such as which dog food you'll give your pup and how you'll make time to walk them. Then there are the regular vet visits to consider, as well as some kind of training and socializing plan.
5. Overlooking Older Dogs
Sure, puppies are adorable. But bringing home a puppy is an even bigger commitment than an adult dog as you'll need to start from scratch. And that means dealing with puppy problems such as chewing and accidents on the carpet.
If this is your first rescue dog and especially if it's your first ever dog, an adult or senior dog is often a far better choice. Not only are they more likely to be housebroken and trained, but they're also just as deserving of a new home.
Common Dog Adoption Mistakes
We're sure you have plenty of space in your heart to give a shelter dog a loving home.
But, as these common dog adoption mistakes show, even the most well-meaning prospective pet parents need to do their research before they take on the responsibility of adopting a dog.
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