Adopting a Dog for the First Time

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Adopting a Dog for the First Time

Pets have benefits that go beyond simple enjoyment. For example, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 74% of pet owners reported an improvement in mental health after adopting a pet. Dogs are especially good choices for pets at this time as they can offer companionship to people who are feeling especially isolated during the pandemic.

If you are thinking about adopting your first dog, however, you may be overwhelmed by the options out there. Shelters are full of cute dogs who are all looking for new homes. It can be overwhelming to know which breed or age of dog is the best fit for you. The good news is there is plenty of information out there to help you make an informed and responsible decision for you and your future pet.

Consider the following information to help you find a great fit.


Adopting a pet can be expensive. Shelters in many states do not release animals for adoptions until you pay for them to be spayed. The cost of this procedure in addition to required vaccines like rabies shots, can quickly add up. The American Kennel Club has information about what vaccines are typically necessary for dogs.

If you pet has particular kinds of health issues, like bladder or digestive issues, you may need to put them on a special diet. Certain foods can be more expensive than you may expect, so be sure you are in a position to cover unexpected health costs.


Do you have enough free time to spend with your pet? You may have images of playing in the park with your dog on the weekends, but it is important to keep in mind that on average, dogs need anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise each and every day. PetMD recommends that dogs are walked for about ten to fifteen minutes a day.

You also want to consider if your job gives you flexibility to let your dog out on your lunch break. Do you have a backup plan if your boss asks you to work a few hours later and can’t get home to take your pet out? Dogs that don’t get enough attention can develop a serious separation anxiety disorder can have a huge impact on its health.

Clean Up

Most dogs shed their fur, and you will soon learn that you can spend a significant amount of time cleaning up after them. Be prepared to have fur in your carpet, on your clothes, and in your car when transporting your pup to and from appointments and other outings. Lint-rolling everything you own every day can take a toll, but you can keep the fur under control with automated vacuums and a regular cleaning schedule.

When your dog relieves itself, you are going to need to clean up its waste from your yard. If you are out in public, like in a park, it may even be illegal to not clean up your pet’s waste, as it can spread disease. If the thought makes you squeamish, you will want to make sure you are ready to take on this pet-owner’s responsibility.

There are plenty of reasons to get a dog. Research shows that dog owners live longer, and you can help your pet in the same way by rescuing it from the shelter. With the right expectations and prep, you can find a new bes1`t friend in your new pet.

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