this is something i wrote last year:
So You Want to Adopt a Dog? CROSSPOST FAR AND WIDE PLEASE PERMISSION GRANTED TO WHOEVER NEEDS THIS..( authors name must be shown)
For those of you wanting to adopt a dog, think carefully as to WHY you want to get a dog- is it for yourself , or because you want to get a dog for the current dog you have?? Or is it to please your spouse? IF you are getting a dog to please someone else DONT. IF you are getting a dog for yor current dog because you think they are lonely DONT. If you are getting a dog for companionship for YOU than ok.
Have you asked your spouse, parents or significant other who lives in the same house if they all agree to have a dog in the house? IF not, do not get a dog. There is nothing worse then getting a dog without asking the occupants of the house if you can have one, and getting the dog and finding out the dog must go?
Many people do NOT research the type of dog they are looking for..
Are you looking for a hyper dog? a mellow dog? a medium in between dog?
Have you checked with your state/town to see if the dog is banned? some states/towns now ban certain breeds of dog- rottweilers, doberman, great dane, akitas, german shepherds, american pit bull/staffordshire, etc..
How about fur? have you thought about how much grooming/vaccuming a long haired dog needs?
How about Food for the dog? Food will cost around $30 a month or so. What About collars, leashes too, as they get older they will need bigger collars. Figure on $20 for a good leash and $15 for a good sturdy leather collar.
Heartguard and Flea/Tick Medicine- this will run you $30 for a 3 pack of heartguard, and $34 for a pack of Frontline. Each box contains 3 items one for each month . You will need these for the rest of the dogs life.
How about vet care? a regular checkup at a local vet can run between $100-300 per dog each year.. Dont forget the emergency situations at the emergency vet- that could cost anywhere from $200-$5000 and higher depending on the situation per dog each time. Regular vaccines run $11 to $18 each. A dog usually gets 4 shots a year, with Rabies every three years. Licensing Fee- $7 - $10 per year for the life of your dog.
Time- do you have the proper time to spend with a dog? adult dogs need to go potty every couple of hours, while puppies have to go every hour to start. The dog needs to spend quality time with you, not 12 hours stuck in a crate and no attention at all. They need socialization, play time and bonding time with their new owner. You cant just leave a dog home alone all the time.
Forget about vacations, nights away from home, or long trips during the day. Think about it, can you hold your potty time for 8 hours or longer? I doubt it. The dog needs to be taken care of, and unless you have a nanny or someone to take care of your dog YOU are its primary caregiver. Kennels? sure, they are expensive too, they will watch your dog while you are away if they are not booked up. And, you want to find a reputable kennel, not a shady kennel that doesnt take care of the dogs. Kennels run between $10 a day up to $50 a day for daily boarding.
The dog itself- have you visited the local shelter/rescue group to see what dogs they have available for adoption?
Training- all dogs need obedience training, regardless of age. this strengthens the bond between you and your new dog, and it teaches the dog who is in charge. Most classes are 7 weeks long and cost $120 and up.
Can you really afford a dog ? have you sat down and figured in the food, vet bills, necessary maintenance of a dog?
How about your homeowners or renters insurance? Will they allow a certain breed of dog on the premises? Some insurance companies will discriminate against certain breeds of dogs and will cancel your policies if the dogs are on the premises.
Have you checked with your Landlord to see if they allow you to have a dog on the premises before you get a dog? If they allow it, get it in writing from the landlord.
If you have a resident dog, and want to adopt, what will you do if the new dog and your current dog do NOT get along? Are you willing to separate them 24/7 for the rest of their lives? Or will you return one dog to the shelter? Did you introduce your resident dog to the new dog on neutral ground a couple of times to see if they even get along?
Have you changed your will to include your adopted dog or animal? This way you can be assured your pet will not go to a shelter and be euthanized. Have you asked someone to take care of your dog when you are gone?
If you have done all the above, and still want a dog for YOUR companion, then take the next step.. Foster a dog. This way you can really see what it entails caring for another creature that you will be responsible for.. Many rescue groups and shelters are needing foster homes , sign up and become a foster home .. This way you can see if owning a dog is really for you, or not. By fostering you will be able to take care of a dog while giving it a temporary home and helping out the shelter/rescue at the same time. You will also be able to see different dogs and their temperments to see if a dog is really for you.
IF you go ahead and foster, and feel a dog is still for you, then start looking to adopt.
Just remember, its a lifetime commitment of AT LEAST 15 years ... and that doesnt mean if you get bored of the dog you can just give it up, or return it to rescue or the shelter.
Think long and hard before aquiring a dog, as regardless of what breed you adopt/rescue/buy, you are making that dog an example of the same breed that is out there with other owners. Do NOT jeopardize my right to own the dog of my choice if you didnt research the breed before you took the dog home.. I dont want MY dog to suffer because of your irresponsibility.
The following facts are verbatim from the Humane Society of the United States website:
For every human born, 7 puppies and kittens are born. (1)
One female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in 7 years. (1)
One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in 6 years. (2)
An estimated 6 to 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters each year in the United States. Millions more are abandoned, only to suffer from disease, starvation or injury before dying.
In a study of relinquishment of dogs and cats in 12 U.S. animal shelters, 30% of the surrendered animals were purebred. (3) The same study indicated that 55% of the surrendered dogs and 47% of the surrendered cats were not spayed or neutered. (3)
Of all dogs reported in severe attacks on people in Texas during 1998 (where the reproductive status of the animal was known), unsterilized male dogs were 2.6 times more likely to attack than female dogs or neutered male dogs. (4)
It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2 billion each year to impound, shelter euthanize and dispose of homeless animals. (5)
Approximately 55% of dogs and puppies entering U.S. animal shelters are killed, based on reports from 1,038 U.S. animal shelters. (6)
Approximately 71% of cats and kittens entering U.S. animal shelters are killed based on the same report.
Facts provided courtesy of (and the HSUS webpage http://www.hsus.org):
1. The Humane Society of the United States Pet Overpopulation Fact Sheet
2. SPAY/USA "Did You Know" Fact Sheet
3. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Volume 1, Number 3, pg. 213
4. Texas Department of Health 1998 Severe Animal Attack Surveillance
5. USA Today, June 23, 1998, pg. 1
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