When adopting a dog, not only are you adding a pet to your home, you're also gaining a family member.
Before you run to the shelter and adopt a new furry friend or take home a "free" puppy, here are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you're ready for the responsibility that comes with owning a pet.
Am I ready to commit to the responsibility that comes with a puppy?
Just like with any pet, puppies are a huge responsibility. They need to be trained, fed, walked, played with, and cared for their entire lives. Having a puppy is similar to having a child: it's a life-long commitment. If you're not ready to take care of a dog for 10 years, you're not ready to do all the work that comes with a puppy.
Do I have the time to take care of a puppy?
Puppies need a lot of attention, which means a big time commitment from the owner. If you're the kind of person who spends a lot of time away from home, or doesn't think they can commit to the time that it takes to care for a puppy, don't get a puppy.
Can I afford a puppy?
If you decide that you can handle the time and responsibility that comes with owning a puppy, it's time to consider the cost. Puppies can be expensive after adding up the costs of food, licensing fees, vet visits, spay and neutering, and other expenses. As puppies get older, they'll need more care, which can also add to the cost in visits to the vet. So if you're not in a good spot financially, a puppy can strain your finances.
Do I live in the right environment for a puppy?
Puppies are animals with high energy, which means they need a lot of space to run around. Puppies need to constantly be taken outside to run around, exercise, and play. So if you live in a small one-bedroom apartment, getting a puppy might not be the best idea. They'll do best in an environment that gives them space to run, or at least a nearby park to get out all their energy.
If you're thinking about adopting an older dog, sometimes they don't have as much energy as a puppy. Older dogs do better in a smaller environment or for people with a mellow lifestyle. However, they still need to be let out to exercise, so it's a good idea to live near a park, or have a home with a yard for them to wander around in.
Who else thinks I am ready for a puppy?
Considering you've answered yes to all of the questions above, it's time to ask for a second opinion. If someone you know thinks you can handle the responsibility that comes with taking care of a dog, you have the green light!
Kool Toyota is located at 3780 Plainfield Avenue Northeast.
For more information on how they're involved in helping animals in the community, visit KoolToyota.com.