A Forever Home - Adopting a Shelter Dog

It’s never an easy decision. It’s not like buying a pair of blue jeans that you can return if they don’t fit. Adopting an animal is serious. This dog is an addition to your family that will pretty much change everything. Your life, your daily activities, your commitments will be altered in some way. And if you let them, this furry friend will bring something to your life that you never knew was missing.

It’s undeniable how much joy a dog can bring. In their eyes, you can do no wrong and they are always excited to see you&mdasheven if you just left the house 10 minutes ago. If you have ever owned a pet before, you get it. Dogs weren’t called “man’s best friend” by chance. Every walk, wagging tail and lick across the face makes an impact on you. So if you are ready to open up your life to a four-legged friend, consider adopting a homeless dog.

Millions of cats and dogs are brought in to shelters across the United States each year, just looking for a forever home. Some were dealt their fair share of misfortune in their lives, and others were just born at the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter the reason, there are animals that can use someone to care for them and a permanent place to call home. Here are five questions to consider before rescuing a dog in your area.

1. Do you have the time?

A dog is a full-time responsibility. You need to make sure you have the time to train and help your dog get acclimated with their new space and family. If you work a full-time job, you will also want to ensure you have a plan for your dog while you are not home.

2. Is your space ready for a dog?

Where you live will have a big impact on whether or not you are ready to adopt. If your space is tight and cramped, it may not be the best time to bring a 100lb. lab into the mix. Find a place in your home that could easily fit your new pup, a training crate and any new toys he or she might need. Once you have a small place designated for your dog, it will take away some of the pressure when first bringing your pup home.

3. Are you looking for a puppy or trained adult dog?

Shelters house both puppies and adult dogs alike, so know what you and your family are ready to take on. While an adult dog may have a couple years under his/her belt, they will most likely be trained and more comfortable walking on a leash. On the other hand, a new puppy will be just that&mdashnew to everything. A puppy will take more time and energy to train than an adult dog.

4. What size dog are you ready for?

There’s a big difference between a Great Dane and a Yorkshire Terrier. Before adopting, research various breeds so you can learn about their behavior, weight and size. Just because small breeds have a petite frame, that doesn’t mean they lack any energy. A small dog might need room to run, depending on the breed. So check out what other pet owners are saying on the web, but remember every dog is different, especially when adopting a mixed breed. If you have any questions during your adopting process, don’t hesitate to ask the shelter volunteers, as they are the most familiar with that particular pooch.

5. Where can I go to adopt?

One of the best resources to find available pets in your area just happens to be online, at Petfinder.com. This website is the largest pet adoption website in the world and allows you to customize your search&mdashby breed, size and age&mdashmatching you with ready-to-adopt dogs near you.

Another great way to rescue pets in your area is to research adoption events by city. A great event that is currently underway in Cincinnati, OH is the “My Furry Valentine” adoption event where area shelters and rescues are teaming up all over the city and hosting Greater Cincinnati’s largest animal adopting event. For more information on this event check out My Furry Valentine.com and check out BrindFido.com to research other events in your own city.