Are you thinking of adopting a dog for your family?

If so, we think that’s great … but before you rush to your local dog shelter, rescue group, or online adoption site, consider whether your family is fully prepared to accept lifelong responsibility. guardianship of the dog.

And then take some time to consider what type of dog is best suited to the lifestyle of the family or individual who will be the dog’s guardian.

Puppies, for example, need a lot of attention in terms of care, feeding, house training, socialization, and exercise.

If your family is busy or you are caring for young children at the same time, you may want to consider adopting an older dog that is already house trained and does not need the same level of care that is required of a puppy.

Are you looking for a dog to be the companion of your mom or dad or another older person? Then consider an older dog. Older dogs can be wonderful companions for older people. They can be very soft and sweet-tempered and the fact that they are in their golden years in terms of life expectancy may be the best option for an older person who may not be able to care for a puppy now and for 15 or more. years of life. .

Do you know a special child or adult who may have a physical or other challenge? Some of the most wonderful experiences on record are those witnessed by the interaction of disabled dogs with children and adults who have challenges. Apparently, a special bond materializes between humans and dogs as they take advantage of each other’s strengths and journey through the joys of living and supporting each other.

What about the cost of caring for a dog?

Bringing a new dog into your family or home is bringing home a new family member. If you have any qualms about that concept, don’t buy a dog, buy a toy. Dogs need love in addition to nutritious food, a warm, comfortable place to sleep at home (not in your garage or yard), toys, vitamins, vet checkups, dental care and grooming. If you live in a cold climate, many dogs need a coat when they go outside during inclement weather. This is just the beginning.

We have 2 small dogs and we spend approximately $ 300. month on their food, supplements and veterinary health insurance. If more is needed, we would happily spend it even if we had to sacrifice elsewhere.

Will you give Fido your time?

From puppies to senior dogs, everyone needs your time and attention to varying degrees. Puppies need more time, but even an older dog needs exercise, playtime, and attention. If you think a bowl of food and water is all your dog wants to be happy, get on his paws. Would you like them to leave you some food and then ignore it?

I’ve seen too many families adopt a dog, leave it in the yard or garage all day without exercising or paying attention to it, and then wonder why behavior problems manifest themselves.

Sadly, I have seen puppies left alone only to drown in a backyard fountain. Large dogs that break pillows in a garage can be returned to the kennel as incorrigible (they are often the first to be euthanized) and others left chained for their own good, as the owners call it. Neither of these people should have a dog.

If you are thinking about getting a new dog, you will know that you are ready when you are not only excited but committed to the well-being of your new family member.

When you are concerned about the quality of the food you eat, the veterinary care you receive, the training, grooming, exercise, and time spent together that only you and your family can provide, you are ready to get a dog.

My wife and I took our dogs on our honeymoon to the California wine country. Why? Because they are members of our family. No one else would make sure your medications and care are handled as well as we do. And most importantly, we wanted them with us. We stayed in a wonderful lodge and found great restaurants and dog friendly activities everywhere.