With the overpopulation in shelters around the country and the high numbers of euthanization–4.5 million pets a year according to the Human Society–adopting a dog is one of the best things you can do to help this problem.
But, before you go out and adopt an animal, there are some important steps you need to take and questions to ask yourself to make sure you are ready.
• Take your family and children feelings about adopting an animal into consideration. Kids recently returned to school. Do you have a routine in place? Do you have structure in your life? The environment we bring an animal into is very important. Who is going to be doing the walking (if you consider to adopt a dog), feeding, taking the animal to the vet? Is everyone on board with bringing a pet into the home? If not, trust me, you should postpone the adoption.
• Are you honestly ready for the responsibility of a pet? Open your mind and determine where your state of mind is. Do you know what if feels like to be calm and assertive? Why do you want to adopt? Be honest!
• Figure out how well you can schedule your pet into your life. What is your work life like? How punctual are you? If you can’t be honest with yourself, ask your friends and ask them to be honest. If you are not reliable or a good manager of time or if you make excuses for being late, you might be one of those people who makes excuses for why they didn’t go on a dog walk that day or didn’t make time to go to the park. It might seem like a small minor detail, but when it comes to fulfilling your new dog and keeping him balanced, these oversights matter!
• Don’t overlook the senior animals. Senior animals need homes just as badly as the cute kittens or puppies. They may not be suited to a home with very young children, as they’re not as accustomed to being around kids’ high energy. But they are wonderful companions for homes that are not as active. They may need less exercise and more health care, but the love they give in return is the reward.
• Enjoy the Process of Adopting a Pet. Pets have brought me more gifts and teach us more than we could have ever dreamed of. Balanced animals bring us calm, peace, joy, and love, as much as we bring them.