October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and across the country, humane societies, shelters and pet stores are holding adoption events. While this is an exciting time when many needy animals get a home they so desperately need, many people get swept up in the excitement of seeing a cute, cuddly puppy without fully thinking through the decision of taking home a forever pet.
When choosing a pet, there are many factors to consider. Not only are you making a commitment to make the animal a part of your family for life, but you should also consider the pet’s personality, your personality, exercise requirements, children, cost, daily schedule, etc. Consider these four items before deciding to adopt a pet!
Does this pet or breed fit with my personality?
Are you a high-energy person or more reserved? Do you like to cuddle, or do you prefer your personal space be respected? Are you a morning person? All of these things are important when deciding between, say, a dog and a cat or a specific breed.
What is your daily routine like?
Do you like to exercise? Do you have children? Do you work 9-5? Shiftwork? Night shift? Different breeds of dogs need different amounts of exercise, ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours per day. There are also certain breeds that are better with children. You should also consider whether your work schedule allows for having a pet. If you have a fenced-in yard where Fido can go to the bathroom as necessary, that is one thing, but typically a dog should not be left in a crate or indoors alone for more than 8 hours.
Do you have expendable income?
The size of the dog can really make a difference in how much they eat. When you consider food, medicine, vet checkups, toys, a crate and treats, pets are an investment. Be sure you have the expendable income you need to take care of a forever pet!
Do you have allergies?
If you have allergies to pet hair or dander, there are breeds of hypoallergenic dogs. However, these are not typically the kind you will find at a pet shelter adoption day event.