They say dogs are man’s best friend, and a new pup could be the missing piece to making your house feel like a home. Selecting a new furry family member isn’t always easy, though. Ask yourself a few questions before adopting to help ensure you get the best fit.
Do You Have Experience?
Be honest about your experience level. Having a lack of experience doesn’t mean you should forgo adopting, but it may affect which dog you bring home. New pet parents may prefer one of the calmest dog breeds to ease into the adventure.
If you adopt from a shelter, ask the employees for suggestions. They are usually familiar with the available dogs and can help match a pup to your skill level and lifestyle.
How Active Are You?
Activity level is another important factor. You and your dog will both be happier if you have similar energy levels. Individuals that lean towards being couch potatoes or work long hours should consider low-energy pets. Some pups are content with short walks and indoor playtime.
High energy and working breeds need more engagement. They may do best with runs, long hikes, a fenced-in yard, or an equally spunky dog friend. An energetic dog that doesn’t have an outlet will get bored, whine, or become destructive.
Are You a Renter?
Assess your living situation. Are you currently, or will you be a renter in the future? Being a tenant usually comes with a set of rules and restrictions regarding pets. You may be subject to breed or size restrictions, pet deposits, and additional monthly rent.
Unfortunately, many pets are surrendered to shelters due to housing limitations. Do your homework and make sure you are committed to fitting your new friend into your living situation for about the next 15 years.
Who Else is in Your Household?
Unless you live completely alone, you need to consider everyone else in your household. Bring any housemates with to meet pooches before adopting. Make sure they get along, want the pup, and don’t have allergies. There are a few breeds of hypoallergenic dogs if necessary.
Inform shelter employees if you have other pets at home. Often, you can bring your other dogs to the shelter for a meet and greet to make sure they get along. For pets that can’t leave home, slumber parties may be an option. Some shelters allow you to take dogs home for a night or two to test the fit with pets such as cats, chickens, and goats.
What Age Should You Adopt?
There are benefits of each age, and you should select the one that works best for you. Puppies are a popular choice because they are so adorable. However, dogs under a year are a much bigger commitment. They will need training, socialization, and repeat vet visits.
Young adults and senior dogs shouldn’t be overlooked. Older dogs have still have love, energy, and personality. They are also probably house trained.
Bringing a new dog home is a wonderful idea. Make sure you think through every angle to get a good fit.