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What’s the best way to adopt a dog?

When it comes to welcoming a new furry friend into your family, there are a lot of ways to go. You could head to a pet store, but have you thought about adopting?

Every year, hundreds of dogs are in need of a home. Some of them have been abandoned, neglected or lost. No matter where they came from, these pups all have their own story and all deserve a loving family. When you adopt a dog, you’re not only gaining a new family member, you’re also saving a life.

Adopting from places like the SPCA means you’re not only helping a dog in need, but supporting them to help more animals in need. The SPCA also ensures all dogs have been checked by a vet and can give you great advice when it comes to caring for your new family member.

Whether you’ve already got a pup in your life and are looking for a new companion, or maybe you have a friend who’s looking for their first dog, we’ve got some insights into doggy adoption.

What to consider before adopting

Bringing a dog into your home is a big decision, us dog owners know that! The average lifespan of a dog is 12 years, so it’s important to think about whether you’re ready to make that commitment.

Like any big life decision, there’s a lot to think about. As easy as it is to say “yes” to the first cute puppy you see, it’s important not to make an emotional decision. You want to make sure you’re well prepared for the your new addition to the family.

Here are three big things you’ll want to work out beforehand:

1. Can you commit your time?

As any dog owner will know, our furry friends can take up a lot of our time. When adopting a dog, you’ve got to make sure you can commit a decent amount of time to caring for them.

Are you gone from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday? If so, what will your dog do while you are gone? Do you often go away for weekends? If so, how will your lifestyle change to include your dog?

When you are home, regular walks and playtime will be a focus. Training and housebreaking will be a big part of your first six months together. You’ll also need to plan for vet visits.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility and you’ve got to make sure they’ll fit into your life.

2. Is your home suitable for a dog? If so, what kind of dog?

Your new pup will need a home that’s right for them.

A one-bedroom city apartment wouldn’t be a good fit for a big German Shepherd, right?

When thinking of adopting, consider the amount of space you have available. Dog’s need room to roam about and they need to get outside for exercise. Are you keen to take your dog for frequent walks and pick up after them if you live in the city? If they bark while you’re away, would nearby neighbours be bothered?

If you have a yard, is it dog ready? You’ll need to be sure your yard has a fence that would prevent your friend from escaping.

3. What dog breed or temperament is best for you?

There are lots of dog breeds out there and all of them have different needs. A Great Dane will need plenty of space to run around while a Chihuahua can live comfortably in a smaller home.

While puppies are cute, they also take up a lot of time. If you’re thinking of adopting a puppy, make sure you do your research and understand the demands that a new puppy has. If you don’t have enough time to take care of a puppy, perhaps consider adopting an older dog, they’re often overlooked when it comes to adoption but make great companions.

Some dogs also need more regular exercise than others, while others may be more prone to shedding.

These seem like smaller details, but you may discover Fido is always chewing your shoes out of frustration if you’re not there enough or they have too much energy to burn off!

Why not try fostering?

If you’re not ready to commit to adopting, fostering can be a great way to care for a dog. Organisations like the SPCA often do not have enough room to care for animals and some are in need of a place to recover as they are sick. Fostering is a great way to give a dog the care they need when they need it. It’s also a way for you to find out if you’re ready for full-time dog ownership.

On average, most foster dogs will need to be taken care of for 3 to 6 weeks. Often, they’ll need some medical care but don’t worry, the SPCA provides full training and ongoing support throughout the fostering time. Find out more here

Whether you’re welcoming a new furry family member or temporarily caring for an pup in need, the team here at Nose to Tail are happy to help you find all you need to to look after your pup. Pop in store or give us a call: 09 448 2227