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Questions to Ask Before Adopting a Dog

By: Jane Pullen - Updated: 6 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Questions To Ask Before Adopting A Dog

Dogs make wonderful pets and companions. A dog is loyal to his owner and will repay the love and attention shown to him many times over. There are many dogs at rescue centres who would make excellent pets, however before giving a home to an animal from a shelter or welfare organization there are some important questions to ask. These include:

Time Commitment?

A dog needs a lot of time and attention, this helps him to socialise and become part of the family. In addition to daily responsibilities, such as making sure that a dog has enough exercise and is walked regularly, there may also be training requirements. Adopted dogs from animal welfare centres are likely to want a lot of time spent with them in the early days. They may well have experienced several upheavals over their life and will be looking for reassurance and security. Before taking on a new dog it is important that this question is answered. Taking on a dog without being able to make the time commitment isn't fair to all concerned.

Will a Dog Fit into the Family Lifestyle?

Another important question to ask is how a dog will fit in. Many families, particularly those with children, lead busy lives and therefore will a dog fit in with this or will it soon become a burden? Fortunately dogs are very adaptable animals and will soon become an important part of their new family.

Will a Dog Get on with Children?

Many children love dogs and this is often one of the main reasons why families look to adopt a dog. Not all dogs, however, get on well with children and this can be a concern with rescue dogs where, perhaps, their history is not known. The rescue centre will be able to give help and advice about their experience of a dog and this should be heeded before giving a home to a rescued dog. If there are any doubts then it is best not to adopt a dog which might not get on with youngsters. Young children who are unfamiliar with dogs should be taught to treat them gently, particularly small dogs who may become injured by rough handling. Children should also be taught the correct way to handle and pick up dogs.

Is the Garden Big Enough?

While a huge garden is not necessary for a dog, he will at least require some space for a little exercise and to use as a toilet. Most rescue centres will have specified requirements for the amount of outdoor space that is required and will be able to give advice.

Financial Commitment?

Dogs are relatively hardy creatures, but even so they have ongoing requirements for vaccinations and other treatments. Dogs can also become ill or sustain an injury and this can result in expensive vet bills. Before giving a home to a rescue dog it is important to question whether long term financial commitments will be a problem.A rescue dog can be a loving and loyal pet. Answering a few important questions early on will help to ensure that the dog and his new owners bond together and look forward to a long and happy life together.

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