Guest Post by Jennifer Scott
Editor's Note: While most Carolina Mountain Dog readers already have dogs, this article will be very helpful if you plan to adopt another dog. Or, please pass it along to a first-time adopter.
When you get the idea to adopt a dog, it’s hard to shake. Suddenly you see floppy ears, furry paws and wet noses everywhere you go. Dogs provide their owners with unending and unconditional love. They are always excited to see their humans walk through the front door no matter how long they’ve been away from home.
Each dog has their own personality and moods, but all-in-all pups are cheerful, kind, funny and completely lovable. Owning a dog is also healthy. Having a canine companion provides plenty of exercise and dog ownership has been shown to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness
Convinced adopting a dog is right for you? Read on for advice on picking out a pup and helping them adjust to your home those first few weeks.
Finding a Lifestyle Companion
The best dog for you is the one that is going to fit into your lifestyle. For instance, if you are an active person who likes to spend their weekends running trails and hiking mountains, adopting an active breed that can keep up with you for miles means you have a new exercise buddy that is always game. People who live in apartments or homes without yards, on the other hand, would do better with a lazier pup that prefers the comforts of the great indoors over being exposed to the elements. Talk with an animal adoption specialist about what you expect from pet ownership so they can make the best match possible.
Preparing Your Home for Pet Ownership
Bringing your new best friend home for the first time may be exciting for you, but entering a new environment full of strange sights and smells can be overwhelming for a dog. To make it easier, have everything clean and set up before you bring your dog home. Have water and food bowls set in their designated spot where it is easy for your pup to find them. Have plenty of treats, chews, and a good supply of limited-ingredient dog food on hand. Setting up a bed for your dog to enjoy in communal living areas gives them a space to sit so they aren’t jumping on furniture and taking up your spot on the couch. When you bring your pup home, let them explore these areas and figure things out themselves and they’ll settle in no time.
Beyond preparing your home for your dog, you also want to prepare yourself. Having everything you may need to address an emergency (or maybe not-so-emergency) situations. Pick out a veterinarian and schedule a meet-and-greet visit shortly after you adopt. Locate an animal emergency clinic nearby so you don’t have to waste time looking up options if your dog needs immediate medical help.
Also invest in plenty of cleaning supplies that combat pet hair, dander, and drool. This includes having a quality vacuum cleaner. Keeping a pet-friendly model like the Dirt Devil Razor Pet in a common room gives you access to dirt-busting power anytime you see a tumbleweed of hair blow across your floor.
Adopt Don’t Shop
People might like to buy purebred dogs because they are predictable. But unless you plan to show or breed, there really isn’t a good reason to drop $500 to $3,000 minimum on a pet when there are hundreds of thousands of animals in shelters waiting for a person like you to take them home. If you buy a dog at a pet store, you are very likely supporting puppy mills, which typically raise dogs in horrible conditions. Sure, shelters have their fair share of problem pooches. However, if you work with an adoption specialist at your local shelter you can find a canine companion that fits perfectly into your home and lifestyle.
When you adopt a shelter animal:
- Another spot at the shelter opens for another animal in need
- You make the marketplace less profitable for puppy mills
- Your new pup comes with some basic training via shelter employees
- You save money on adoption fees, microchips, and initial vet costs
- The money you give to the shelter goes back into a good cause
- The dog you adopt is forever grateful for what you’ve done
- You save a dog’s life
If you are interested in dog ownership, don’t go for purebred unless you are looking to show or breed. Instead, turn to your local shelter to find the perfect lifestyle companion while doing some good. You perfect dog is going to be the kind that reflects your likes and interests. For instance, active people should pick out a dog that can play for hours. When preparing the home for the dog’s arrival, make sure it’s ready by having all of the pup’s possessions out and ready to be used. Furthermore, prepare yourself with vet information and cleaning supplies that take care of all kinds of emergencies.
Jennifer Scott has experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. She shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at https://spiritfinder.org/