Are you ready for a dog?
Before adoption, it is important to ask yourself a few questions:
- Are you ready to make a 10-15 year commitment to a dog?
- Will there be any life changing events in your near future such as moving, getting married, having a baby that may change your ability to care for a dog?
- Are you financially prepared to pay for food, toys, training, and vet visits?
- Does everyone in your household agree now is the right time to bring a dog into the family?
- Are you ready for the daily demands on your time and attention such as walks, grooming, feeding, etc
- Have you researched what breed/size/age of dog would best fit your family, housing and lifestyle?
At Helping Hounds, we want your adoption to be the perfect match and last a lifetime. Please consider the above questions and be sure you are ready for the responsibilities that come with a new canine companion.
We encourage you to take the following Are You Ready For A Dog Quiz:
Are You Ready for a Dog? Quiz
There are so many wonderful reasons to get a dog. But for some of us, there may be a few reasons not to have one. Don't just think about how a dog will enhance your life, but ask yourself, "What am I willing to do to enhance the life of my dog?" Take this quiz and see if the time for you to have a dog is now.
1. What do you expect your life to be like in the next few years?
A. I expect them to continue the way it is without any unforeseen crisis or surprise.
B. I anticipate that my life will hold any number of possible changes, like a career change, new baby, travel, or retirement.
C. Years? I don't know what my life will be like tomorrow.
D. I expect my life to continue the way it is, but if something comes my way, I’m ready.
2. How much time does an adult in your household spend at home — awake?
A. Someone is home most of the day.
B. Somebody's at home, and awake, 3 to 5 hours a day.
C. There is someone home less than 3 waking hours a day.
D. Somebody's at home, and awake, 6 to 8 hours a day.
3. How would you best describe your home?
A. A showplace.
B. Comfortable and lived in.
C. A chaotic mess.
D. New and never lived in.
4. How would you be affected if your dog needed surgery or special medical care that would cost in excess of $500?
A. It would be a strain financially and might put me in debt.
B. I could handle it, but I'd have to make some adjustments.
C. It would pose no problem financially.
D. I would give the dog away or put it down.
5. Which of the following best describes your living situation?
A. I rent an apartment.
B. I rent a house.
C. I own my own home.
D. I am living with someone right now.
6. What would be your support system for the dog when you go out of town?
A. My sister (parent, neighbor, friend, etc.) has offered to dog-sit whenever I'm away.
B. There's a good kennel nearby.
C. I figure I'll only go places where I can take the dog.
D. I don’t know.
7. How often do you travel?
A. I don't get away very much, just a few days here and there.
B. I love to travel and am off and running whenever I have the time and money.
C. I'm out of town for a few days every couple of weeks on business.
D. I go out once or twice a year for vacation.
8. Which answer most closely describes why you want to get a dog?
A. A dog would be a loving addition to my life and our family.
B. I'm lonely, and a dog would be great company and a way for me to meet people.
C. Having a dog will be a great way for my children to learn a sense of responsibility.
D. Dogs are cute and would be fun to play with.
Add up your scores...
1. A:2 ,B:3 ,C:4 ,D:1
2. A:1 ,B:3 ,C:4 ,D:2
3. A:3 ,B:1 ,C:4 ,D:2
4. A:3 ,B:2 ,C:1 ,D:4
5. A:4 ,B:2 ,C:1 ,D:3
6. A:1 ,B:2 ,C:3 ,D:4
7. A:2 ,B:3 ,C:4 ,D:1
8. A:1 ,B:3 ,C:2 ,D:4
If you scored….
You’re ready…You have the right attitude for being a dog owner. You understand the responsibility entailed with a dog. You are ready to make a lifelong commitment to your dog. You want to have a dog become a loving member of your family. You are prepared for all of the work it will require. You're ready for all of the surprises.
Maybe…Your heart is probably in the right place. You think you want a dog, but you still need to seriously consider all the issues involved. It may be best to re-evaluate your circumstances at a later date. If you're set on getting a dog now, you should make some changes in your lifestyle to prepare yourself for becoming a dog owner. A lot of time, not only for training, but also for the responsibilities and challenges that come with bringing a dog into your family. If you decide you simply can't commit now, there are alternatives that may satisfy your dog desires. Spend some time with your friends' dogs. Offer to dog-sit when friends go out of town. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or kennel. Do some more research. When you are finally ready, begin making the adjustments to turn your home into a dog's home.
You should really think this through…Although you may feel strongly about having a dog, stop and reconsider. Rather than answering the question, 'Do I want a dog?' turn the question around and ask: 'Would a dog want me?' Would a dog be able to depend on you to housebreak it and train it with love, patience, and positive reinforcement; to walk it in the rain, even if you have a cold; to love it through sickness and health, housebreaking accidents, and gnawed table-legs? If not, and you’re in doubt, you’re probably not ready to have a dog. It's okay, it doesn't mean you're a bad person. This may not be the time for you — but think about it again at a later date when either you or your circumstances have changed. In the meantime, enjoy your friends' dogs or volunteer at a local animal shelter. But don't give in to the impulse to take one home when a sad and lonely puppy cocks its head and flutters its eyelashes — wait until the time is right.
This material was created by the National Dog Rescue Connection.