It's amazing how people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a dog just because it's the thing to do or because the kids have been pining for a puppy usually ends up being a mistake. Don't forget that dogs may be with you 10 or even 20 years.
Animal companions cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care and companionship every day of the year. Many dogs in shelters are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them.
The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, training classes (if needed), toys, food and other expenses add up quickly.
Scratched up furniture, accidents from dogs who aren't yet housetrained and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
Many rental communities don't allow pets, and those remaining have restrictions. Make sure what they are before you bring a companion animal home.
If you have kids under six years old, for instance, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a pet. Dog ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible. If you're a student, in the military or travel frequently as part of your work, waiting until you settle down is wise.
Pet size is not the only variable to consider. For example, small dogs such as terriers are very active - they require a great deal of exercise to be calm and they often bark at noises. On the other hand, some big dogs are laid back and quite content to lie on a couch all day. Before adopting, do some research. That way you'll ensure you choose a dog that will fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements!
You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.
Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible owner. Of course, giving your dog love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet and regular vet care are other essentals.
When you adopt a pet, you are making a commitment to care for the animal for their entire life.
If you're ready to adopt a companion for life, view our available adoptions to see our many wonderful pups available at Pacific Rim Rescue.
If one of them tugs at your heart and you would like to inquire about them, please fill out an Adoption Application.
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