There are few days more exciting than the one when you bring your new dog home. You’ve been planning and preparing your home for so long, and the day is finally here! But before you reach that marvelous day, we at East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert, AZ want you to consider these important factors. Here’s what you need to know if you find yourself asking, “Should I adopt a dog?”
Where are You Adopting your Dog From?
Adopt, Don’t Shop. East Valley Animal Hospital strongly advocates that you adopt rather than buy your dog from a pet store. Adopting helps curb the ongoing problems of pet homelessnes and overcrowding in shelters. The pet you adopt has likely had a difficult life, and by adopting him, you’re literally rescuing him.
Stay away from pet stores. A shocking 90% of pet stores house and sell dogs from puppy mills. A puppy mill is an overcrowded farm where dogs are treated cruelly. They are often sick and not properly cared for. These inhumane organizations are not only profiting, but flourishing. If you buy a dog from a small, disreputable pet store, you’re likely funding the puppy mill market. Adopt instead—save countless lives!
When are You Adopting Your Dog?
Make sure the puppy is ready to leave his mother. Puppies are generally not ready to be adopted until they’re seven weeks old. By this time, they’ve usually been weaned from their mother’s milk and are learning to be independent. Taking your puppy from its mother too early can cause a myriad of issues in your puppy’s development.
Consider an older dog. If you and your family are busy during the day, an older dog may be a better fit than a puppy. Older dogs have often already been trained, and they don’t require constant supervision and stimulation, as would a younger dog. Additionally, because people usually go for puppies when adopting, too many older dogs have spent their lives waiting to be chosen. Give a home to an older dog and make all his suffering worth the wait.
The dog may be ready, but are you? Have you and your family discussed the idea of adopting a dog? Is everyone on board? If not, it may not be the right time. You also have to make sure you, or someone in your home, will be there to watch over the dog during the day. Leaving a dog all day with no access to the outdoors is not fair to him. You must have a plan in place to give your dog the care he deserves.
Is it the Right Dog?
There are several factors you need to consider when choosing a dog. You need to find a dog that best suits you, your family, and your lifestyle.
Size. Dogs of different sizes are best suited for different people and places. For instance, a Saint Bernard may be the best choice for someone who owns a 150-acre farm, while a Pekingese may feel more at home in an apartment. Your dog needs an appropriate amount of space to play and explore.
Temperament. By the same logic, some dog breeds are best suited for families, while others prefer less people around. A Lab may be great for a family with four kids, whereas a German Shepherd might not be. Do your research!
Spaying and Neutering
If the dog you pick out is not already spayed and neutered by adoption time, we strongly advise you have the procedure done immediately. Not spaying or neutering your pet can lead to prostate and intestinal issues. In addition, if you plan to let your dog roam off-leash around the neighborhood unneutered, you risk contributing to the pet overpopulation problem.
Once you and your family answer the “Should I adopt a dog?” question, come see us! Be sure to bring your new addition to the family into East Valley Animal Clinic in Gilbert as soon as possible for a check-up and to ensure he is up-to-date on all vaccinations. We all have our own pets that we adore, and we will do everything we can to ensure your new fur baby is well taken care of with the greatest compassion and with the latest technology available.