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Adopting an adult dog can be a wonderful experience and one of the best options for some people and families. Although some may say that you should witness a puppy’s first few months growing up, it’s no different when you adopt an adult dog. With the latter, you get to rescue an adult dog and give it another chance at life.
According to statistics, approximately 3.1 million dogs are placed in animal shelters annually. And unfortunately, 390,000 of these shelter dogs are also euthanized each year. While other adult dogs enjoy their golden years in their owners’ homes, those in the shelter spend their days caged instead, even longer than the younger ones. But when you adopt an adult dog, you’re rescuing them and improving their life.
What’s more, adopting an adult dog also comes with benefits. Since you can skip the whole puppy phase, you get to care for a dog with a calmer temperament and better manners than the pups.
Before you run off and pick an adult dog right away, there are several things you’ll need to know and consider before the big day. You wouldn’t want your newly adopted dog to be taken back to the shelter or foster care program due to the lack of preparation and prior research.
So, to get you started, here are five things you’ll need to consider before adopting an adult dog.
1. Research about different breeds
First, you may research the different breeds and learn their characteristics. Through this, you’ll be able to distinguish the type of breed that best fits you and your family. For example, suppose you’re considering choosing adult Greyhounds (including injured & amputee) for adoption. You must learn more about their needs regarding exercise, diet, grooming, and social interaction. And suppose you’re considering adopting adult dogs with previous injuries (minor or severe). In that case, you must also do prior research about the history of their injuries and how to take care of them.
The more informed you are about the different breeds, the easier it’ll be for you to choose and narrow down the list of dog breeds you’re considering adopting. You’ll also be able to know the kind of dog supplies you’ll need to buy in preparation for the coming of your furry friend.
2. Find the best match
According to resources, around 7% to 20% of adult dogs are returned within six months of adoption. While there could be various reasons for this, a mismatch is possible.
To prevent this, it’s best to take your time and let the shelter staff help you find the best dog that could match you. They can further explain to you more about their dogs’ different personalities and energy levels. Moreover, finding the best match is significant to ensure your dog fits your lifestyle or routine. So, utilize all the help you can get from the shelter staff or rescue organizations. Some may offer matching programs or provide profile cards explaining each dog’s personality.
3. Know the adoption costs
Adult dog adoption is much more affordable compared to buying a pet. The adoption costs may range between USD $129 to USD $767, which is a better deal than buying dogs which can cost thousands of dollars. Shelter adult dogs usually receive veterinary care—for instance, spaying or neutering, flea preventative medications, and the like—during their stay, which is included in adoption fees.
However, whether you’re buying or adopting a dog, remember that it shouldn’t be an impulse purchase. Adopting an adult dog doesn’t only require you to be emotionally and mentally prepared but also financially prepared. Your adult dog, especially if it has unique needs for its injuries, will require you to spend some money on its food, vitamins, medications, regular checkups, and vaccinations. You’ll also need to spend money on wheelchairs or knee braces when necessary.
Once you’ve chosen which adult dog to adopt, ask for a copy of their medical records so you can show them to your pet’s new vet and complete any healthcare items that are yet to be taken care of.
4. Ask for their dietary needs
The nutritional needs of adult dogs are different from those of younger ones. So, when you’re in the dog adoption center, know more about the specific dietary requirements of the dog you’re considering adopting before you take it home. This will help you determine whether you can provide the particular diet and food supplies the dog needs. Also, don’t forget to ask the shelter staff or a vet about the right food to feed. Some may be required to add special instructions for nutrition if your new adult dog needs to shed or gain a few pounds.
5. Determine the dog’s size
Adult dogs may differ in size depending on their breed. You may not mind adopting a large adult dog if you have a huge home space with a comfortable and enclosed yard. However, if you’re living in a condo, apartment, or small house with limited space, you’ll need to consider the size of the adult dog you can adopt. Likewise, it’s best to double-check the pet ownership policy in your rented place before you select which adult dog to adopt.
Like any other dogs, adult dogs need a home and a responsible and loving owner to take care of them. Some may appear shy, aggressive, or scared, but that’s often because most adult dogs stay longer in shelters than younger ones. But remember, the initial reactions or emotions they show when you first meet don’t mean they’re bad dogs. Overall, adopting an adult dog is a big responsibility and a huge commitment. It’s a decision which should be made carefully. So, when adopting an adult dog, keep an open mind and heart. Most importantly, don’t forget to keep these tips and considerations in mind before you take the plunge of bringing a new adult dog home.