The Joys (and Sometimes Challenges) of New Dog Ownership

A cute happy puppy greets his new dog owner.

If you have decided to adopt or bring a new pet companion into your life, congratulations! Pets are wonderful companions and are so hard to resist when we see them looking lonely in a shelter or rescue. No wonder there are so many multi-pet households, since one sweetie is never enough! 

If you have never cared for a pet before, there is a lot to consider when it comes to making the adoption and your life with a new pet successful. The team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is here to give you some helpful tips as you embark on new dog ownership.

7 Important Questions to Ask Before Adopting

Taking on a new dog is an exciting change! Dog ownership is an experience like no other and offers the chance to care for and bond with a special furry companion. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm to adopt a dog can sometimes overshadow the reality of some challenges. This realization is why many dogs adopted from shelters are promptly returned due to behavioral problems.

In order to be fully prepared for these new changes, here are some important questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do you have the time? Pets not only require daily tasks, such as walks, playtime, snuggles, and grooming. They also need training! If your pet hasn’t been house trained or socialized, or is a puppy, you can expect to devote much of your time for the first several weeks to give them the enrichment needed by every dog. Consider your work schedule, travel, and other time commitments, and weigh how much you think you can extend to a deserving pup.
  2. Can you afford it? Dogs require a big financial commitment for a lifetime of good health and well-being. The initial adoption fees, food, treats, bed, waste bags, parasite control, and veterinary care are but a few of the expenses you can expect throughout your dog’s life. Be realistic about your budget and how you can be financially prepared for the cost of new dog ownership.
  3. Do you have the space? A tiny apartment is not a great choice for a large breed dog. Likewise, if your pet needs a lot of exercise and room to be active, not having any kind of yard prohibits your pet’s well-being. Consider your space and whether or not it works before selecting the right size and breed for you.
  4. Do you have children? Kids and dogs can go hand in hand in the best circumstances, but sometimes this can be a dangerous combination. A shelter pet may have experiences from their past that lead to fear and aggressiveness. A teacup Chihuahua is fragile, like most toy dogs, and cannot safely be handled by young kids. Along with this, your entire family must be on board with issues like house rules, training, and handling.
  5. Do you have any limitations? Pets, especially dogs, require a lot of energy and time. If you have any major changes coming up, or have other limitations that may prevent you from fully caring for a dog, you may want to postpone the adoption or consider a different type of pet.

Questions About New Dog Ownership

If you are considering adopting a new best friend and are new to dog ownership, please contact us. Caring for a dog can be the greatest opportunity of your life, especially fulfilling when you adopt and give a home to a deserving sweetie. 

We look forward to meeting your new best friend at their first wellness checkup!