When Not to Adopt a Dog

A dog is irresistible for dog lovers, a puppy much more. There are times, however, when adopting a dog is not recommended. The following guidelines will be of help.


- A dog is never a good gift. This is not only true for the dog but also for the recipient of the gift. To many people, even with dog lovers, dogs take too much time and too much work to have around especially so because a dog as a gift is an unplanned responsibility.


- Often, the worst time to give a dog is to a person that has just suffered the loss of a loved one, in order to cheer the person up. This is a well-meant gesture but always the person who has suffered a loss will need human companionship.




- Adopting a dog is never good for people who are having financial concerns. The maintenance that is required by a dog is very much like the expenses incurred by having another toddler around the house. Like people, dogs need grooming, training, exercising, caring aside from food and shelter. Other expenses are also incurred when the dog is ill. Puppies even cost more to care than large full-grown dogs.


- Too many times, a dog is claimed to relieve stress because of their loving presence and loyal nature. Dogs also appear attentive when talked to and has a calming effect to many people. This is true. However, many families are too stressed with work, often pressed for time and many other obligations that caring for another creature, adds up to the pressure. When this happens, the dog becomes an added issue.


- People who constantly travel should not adopt a dog. Dogs are very social creatures and love interacting with people.


- It is not always wise to give dogs to people who have just lost a pet. Dogs by large are treated much like members of the family. The person may not welcome or is not yet ready to replace a well-loved pet.


- Never adopt a dog when there are foreseeable changes in your life. A change in job, moving to a new location, getting married, major health concerns and limited time due to more responsibilities will only add up to the pressure where the dog is likely to suffer. 


- Older pets do not always welcome new pets in the house; on the contrary, older pets tend to be wary with new, younger ones. Dogs are also basically predators. This has not been shed off even through centuries of domestication. As such dogs practice hierarchy. Larger dogs often occupy and have the alpha male attitude and will bully any new pet that is added to their group. When decided to adding a new puppy, be sure to watch out that this does not happen.


- Do not adopt a new dog without the agreement of all members of the family.


There are different dog breeds with different attitudes and temperaments. Dog sizes also matter. Larger dogs are best when there are children in the house as they are generally more placid. Small dogs on the other hand are high energy and fast rambunctious creatures that the children may not be safe to be around with.


When you get your dog home there will be a period of adjustment. Depending on the dog's circumstances it may have been in a foster home, it may have been abused and it will have spent some time in the cages at the pound. This is a difficult time for your dog so extra understanding is needed. Your dog may bark, chew, scratch and even have ‘accidents’ while trying to adjust to a new life. It’s stressful so make a safe haven for your dog and give him some space and time to adjust.


Exercise is important so take your dog out and give it all the exercise it needs as soon as you can after taking it home. This will give you a good indication of how much exercise your dog requires and how well behaved it is. Training is important, no matter what the history of the dog is. This will give you valuable insights into your dogs behaviour, (as well as your own!), and it’s great bonding time too. Make sure that you’re consistent so that your dog learns how to behave correctly.


Follow this simple advice and you’ll have a happy, healthy, loving, well behaved dog for you and your family to enjoy for a long time to come.