There are many things to think about when adopting a pet. It is a big commitment and should not be entered into lightly. Dr. Julie Dinnage, speaking on behalf of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), advises on several factors to take into account when making this important decision.
First, realize that a lot goes into being a pet owner. Dogs obviously require daily feeding, exercise, love, and attention all of which involve substantial time and energy. Also called for is the need for preventative veterinary care, which requires a financial obligation. In order for a dog to live a rich, happy, and healthy life, it is important for a pet owner to be able to provide for their animal.
Deciding on what type of breed is important also, as all dogs have different personalities and varying energy levels. Consider your family and/or other housemates when deciding to adopt or purchase a dog, because this choice affects all those who will be living with the new pet. It is important to consider the breed and family history, as well as the age of the dog. It is extremely rewarding to raise a puppy, but puppies take more work than adult dogs. Puppies need to be house trained, fed more, exercised more often and for longer intervals, and taught social skills and the ways of the world. For people that are looking for a companion, but do not have the time, patience, or energy that a puppy requires, adult dogs are a great choice. Also, because their personalities are fully developed and behaviors identified, it is often easier to match adult dogs with appropriate owners.
Animal shelters, animal breeders, or pet stores are all locations to procure new dog, but the AVMA encourages anybody interested to visit a local shelter before making a decision. There are a lot of wonderful dogs available and eager for a home. Also, animal shelters know which questions to ask about your family, lifestyle, schedule and hobbies to help assess what dog would be a good match for you.
For more information, please visit www.avma.org.