Did you know that October is Adopt-A-Dog Month?  We think it is so important to adopt, whether it’s a cat or a dog!  There are millions of dogs and cats around the world waiting for their forever homes and believe me, there is nothing that can out do the love of a rescue dog!

I have had five dogs that I have rescued from a shelter or a rescue.  The first one that we adopted from the animal shelter was Scuffie.  He was a Red Husky Mix and was the most awesome dog.  I got him when I was in college and he was with me for 14 years.  He was a great dog and I still miss him. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Adopted Husky

Scuffy

Our next shelter dog was a Blue Heeler Mix and his name was Ringo.  He was my dad’s dog and they had a bond like no other.  Since I’m talking about shelter dogs, I have to mention Summer that we adopted from a Lab Rescue in Tulsa, OK, and Phe and Diesel who were both adopted from our Edmond Animal Shelter.  Diesel is the only one that is still with us today and I have to say, each one of these dogs has left me with wonderful memories and pawprints on my heart!

All five of these dogs were and are very special dogs.  They loved us unconditionally and made our lives a lot better for being in them!  With that said, if you are thinking about adopting a dog, don’t rush into it.  You need to make sure you are ready to have a dog that you will have to take care of.

Having a dog means more than just playing with it.  You have to take care of it which involves time and money.  When you feel you are ready to adopt a dog there are a few things that you might want to consider doing.

Get Your Home Ready For Your New Friend

It is important to dog proof your home and there are several things you can do to make sure your house is safe for your dog.  Dogs are just like kids…they get into everything!  Make sure that there aren’t any toxins around that your dog can get into.  Examples of these would be rat poison, slug bait or antifreeze to name a few.  Make sure your trash cans are securely closed so your dog doesn’t have access to them.  You don’t want him picking chicken bones out of the trash and eating them.  Your dog digging through the trash could result in an emergency room visit. 

Pick up small toys, clothing and any other objects that might be laying around the house that your dog might accidentally ingest.  Check for any exposed electrical wires and hide them to prevent your dog chewing on them and injuring himself. 

Make sure all dangerous items such as medications, poisonous plants and ashtrays are out of your dog’s reach.  Check your fence for places that he might be able to get out and secure them if there are any. 

Examine your home carefully and fix places that might cause danger to your dog.  Doing this could save you a costly trip to the emergency room!

Discuss Getting A Dog With Your Family

Talk to your family members and discuss who will be responsible for the different parts of your dog’s care and how frequently.  Who will feed the dog?  Who will take the dog on walks?  Who will bathe the dog?  Who will take care of the dog if you go out of town?  It is a good idea to discuss all of these questions and any other questions your family might have before you adopt.  Getting these decisions out of the way before adopting may help you steer clear of unexpected needs and no way to address them.

Buy Supplies

You will need to buy supplies before you bring your new friend home.  Make a list of all the things you will need.  For starters, you will need dog food.  It’s a good idea to find out what kind of food he has been eating and stick to that.  Your dog will also need a bed to sleep in, food and water bowls, treats, a crate, toys, a doggie toothbrush and doggie toothpaste, a leash and collar, and grooming supplies.  It would also be a good idea to pick up some pet-specific cleaners in case he gets excited and has an accident.  A pet cleaner we recommend is Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer.  This is the only pet cleaner I use when an accident happens in the house.

Things To Consider Before Adopting

There are many things to think about before you adopt a dog.  For example, is your home large enough for a dog?  Do you have enough free time to spend with a dog?  If you adopt, will you be able to provide medical care and appropriate nutrition for the duration of his life and will you be able to take care of him for his entire life?  It’s important to realize that a dog is not an item that you can just throw away when you get tired of it.  You should know that a dog is a lifetime commitment and you have to be ready to make that lifetime commitment.

Is your financial situation one that you will be able to afford the following:

  • Annual checkups
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Vaccinations along with heartworm and flea prevention
  • Emergency room visits
  • Quality dog food and any other pet supplies that might be needed

Do you have the patience for dealing with a dog.  Will you be able to handle those times that he wants to bark,  when he has an accident in the house, when he chews up your favorite shoe, when he sheds all over your favorite couch, etc?  No dog is perfect, just like we aren’t perfect. 

Do you have the extra time that you can spend with your dog to help him be obedient, socialized, and well-mannered?  You will have to work with him and spend time with him so you can take him out in public.  You might consider taking him to dog training school and participating with him.  This is a great way to spend quality time with your dog!

Adopting a dog is a great thing, just make sure you are ready.  The worst thing is adopting a dog and not being able to take care of him.  One thing we all hate to see is a dog being returned to the shelter because the people that adopted him didn’t realize what goes into having a pet.  Can you imagine how the dog feels when he is taken back to the shelter because he wanted to play too much, or gave too many kisses, or had an accident in the house, or chewed up a shoe? 

Just remember, be patient, caring and loving and you will have a lasting friendship for many years!  And yes, it is way worth it to adopt a dog!

Filed under: Adopt A Dog Or Cat

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