October is Adopt a Shelter Dog month

 

Tips for choosing the right dog for you and your family:

         Choose a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle

o   Things to consider are the dog鈥檚 size, exercise needs, energy level, friendliness and compatibility with children, strangers and other pets.

o   Do you live in an apartment, condo or house? It鈥檚 also good to consider your housing situation especially if you鈥檙e interested in a large breed dogs

 

         Age differences

o   Are you interested in a puppy? Have you considered everything a puppy needs?

  Is someone home during the day to train and socialize the puppy?

  Who will be responsible for taking the puppy out in the morning and during the night?

  Puppies need to be fed three to four times a day and go out often immediately after eating or drinking.

  Accidents inside happen as they are being housebroken. 

o   Many older dogs (meaning not puppy age) have some basic training and can be left alone for longer times.

 

         Don鈥檛 rely on first impressions alone

o   You can鈥檛 often get a good feel for a dog鈥檚 real personality in a shelter environment.  Some dogs can get overstimulated by the number of other animals and/or noise in the shelter environment. This may cause dogs to bark excessively.

o   Don鈥檛 overlook quieter dogs. They may not appear to be vying for your attention but that doesn鈥檛 mean they wouldn鈥檛 be a good fit for you and your family.

 

         Talk to shelter staff

o   Since they interact with the shelter dogs daily, they would have the best knowledge about the dog you鈥檙e interested in.

o   Visiting the shelter frequently allows the shelter staff to get to know you and your family and help figure out which dog would work best with your lifestyle.

 

         Ask to see the dog outside the kennel area

o   Ask if you could take them for a walk outside the shelter

o   Ask to visit with the dog in a quiet visiting room

 

         Visit more than one shelter

o   Compare the shelters

  Are they clean?

  Are the staff friendly?

  Are they willing to help?

         Consider costs

o   The ASPCA estimates the annual cost of care for a dog, including pet insurance, is as follows:  

  $737.00 annually for a small dog

  $894.00 annually for a medium dog

  $1,040.31 annually for a large dog 

  This does not include initial costs including adoption or fees, beds, crates, leashes, collars, harnesses, toys, food/water bowls and other items needed to bring your new doggy home

 

         Keep in mind the dog you pick will be with you for many years.