Whether you’re single or married with kids, sometimes the family just feels incomplete without a wagging tail, loving licks, and those puppy dog eyes!
There are plenty of proven benefits to having a dog. Kids who grow up with dogs are less likely to develop allergies, dogs increase our activity levels, they make us happy, and there’s no better shoulder to cry on than a furry one.
If you’re planning, researching, or in the midst of adopting your first family dog, here’s what you need to know about the process!
The Cost of Being a Dog Parent
Being a pup parent can become costly! If you haven’t already considered it. Dogs can brighten up the mood in your homes, here are some of the things you’ll need to spend money on when adopting your first family dog:
- Warm, comfy bedding
- Dog toys
- Grooming tools
- Healthy dog food (continuous cost)
- Treats (continuous cost)
Other potential monetary costs include emergency medical bills, pet insurance, doggy daycare, and training your new baby.
Don’t forget that aside from monetary costs, being a dog parent will require your time and effort. Pups need love and attention! You’ll need to make sure you have time to feed your new dog, exercise him or her, bathe them when necessary, and just spend time together bonding. Moreover, their safety should be your priority and you should avoid objects that are terrifying for dogs such as fireworks.
If your new dog is going to be alone in the backyard for 12 hours every day, if you like spending hours away from home eating out partying, or visiting friends, or if you travel a lot for work, you may need to rethink getting a pup.
But if there’ll always be a family member at home to look after the pooch and give him lots of love, then adopting your first family dog would be no problem.
An Adopted Dog’s Needs
If you’re sure that you can afford a pup (financially and time-wise), you’ll need to consider the needs of an adopted dog.
Adopting your first family dog is different from buying a dog from a breeder. You never know what an adopted dog has been through in its lifetime!
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from abandonment or rejection issues. The difference is, they can’t tell us what’s bothering them or why, and how we can help.
It’s up to us as new adoptive dog parents to understand that our adopted dog may come with some baggage. Perhaps he was abandoned by his previous owners. Maybe she got out during a storm and lost a loving family that she misses.
Treat your dog with love and care, keeping in mind that they may be experiencing emotional turmoil. They may be clingy, but they’re just worried that they may lose another human!
Where to Adopt a Dog
Adopting your first family dog instead of buying from a breeder not only gives a dog a second chance at life, but it prevents you from supporting puppy mills or illegal breeders.
But where’s the best place to look for your new canine family member? Here are some great places to check online:
- USA: PetFinder, Adopt a Pet, ASPCA
- EU: Animal Rescue Guide, CARO Dog
- UK: AnimalSaver, RSPCA, Dog Rescue
- UAE: Adopt A Dog ME, Soi Dog Foundation, SPCA International
If you can’t find your perfect pup here, a simple Google search should reveal a number of places near you that offer dogs for adoption.
Adopting your first family dog doesn’t have to be difficult! As long as you prepare properly, make sure you have everything your new pet needs, and find the best place to adopt your dog, you’ll soon be the proud owner of a new furry family member!
Happy adopting, and remember – it’s all about love!
About the Guest Author
Mike Powell – My first introduction to dogs was my father’s military colleagues’ service dogs. When I was old enough to get a pup of my own, my love for them only grew. I write about all things dog-related at Dog Embassy.