Questions to Ask Yourself Before Adopting a Dog

At Sheryl's Den Animal Rescue, we will help you make a well-informed decision. Below, we have provided information that will be helpful in making and informed decision. Once you have read everything, feel free to look at our adoptable pet list. If you are interested in adopting, please complete an application to start the process.

You need to consider that each dog may grow larger or stay smaller than you expected. It is almost impossible to determine how big mixed breeds will grow. Some mutts have three or more types in their history.

Many dog breeds shed fur. Some may shed less than others, but they still shed. Despite all your cleaning, pet fur will still be all over your house. Are you ready for this?

Dogs need to socialize with people to meet basic daily needs and avoid behavioral problems that can arise from being deprived of human contact, exercise and mental stimulation. At critical points of a dog’s development, it is important that the owner is at home to train their pets. Puppies do not have the ability to hold their bladder. Generally speaking, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age. So, if your puppy is two months old, they can hold it for about two hours. Don't go longer than this between bathroom breaks or they're guaranteed to have an accident. Dogs should not have to hold their bladder for 8 hours no matter what the age. If you work full time, consider coming home at lunch time or hire a dog walker.

Most people don’t think about medical care when adopting a pet. If your four-legged friend gets sick, you may need to pay for tests or even surgeries. These expenses may cost more at emergency clinics. Because of this, many ill pets are brought to shelters by owners who refuse or cannot pay for vet care. This causes much suffering for both pets and their owners.

As a prospective owner, you need to learn everything about owning a pet. You can get a more in-depth understanding by talking to experienced pet owners. If possible, you can also offer to pet sit for a few days to get an idea. Alternatively, you can talk to a trainer if you need expert help.

Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and personalities will need to go outside for exercise and to relieve themselves multiple times a day. Frequency can increase with puppies, small dogs, and senior dogs. They don’t care about the weather. When they need to go, it is important that you let them.

If you already have pets, you need to take into consideration how they will react to newcomers. Current pets can exhibit bad behavior because of the stress caused by the new pet’s arrival. These bad behaviors can usually be corrected with time and patience. However, sometimes, it’s not a good idea to have a new pet. Some things you need to consider include:

  • If your pet is old, will they be bothered by a rowdy puppy? Would adopting an older, calmer dog be more suitable?
  • How sociable are your current pets? If your current pet has not socialized well with others, they may not accept the new pet.
  • How needy are your current pets? Some require a lot of time and attention because of their personality or medical situation.
  • Will you still be able to give that pet all the attention it requires if you adopt a new one?

When done properly, pet ownership is a great way to teach children responsibilities. Sadly, it usually ends up with pets being brought to shelters. Children cannot be expected to be sole caretakers of a new pet. One effective way to teach children is by assigning chores such as feeding, refilling water bowls, and brushing. Ensure that these tasks are accomplished by following up.

Allergies are one of the top reasons pets are surrendered to shelters. Make sure that no one in the household is allergic before adopting. If you are unsure, spend time with friends or relatives who own pets. Often, people don’t get a reaction right away. Their allergies may not be severe. However, having a pet at home for a period allows pet dander to build up which results in an allergic reaction.

If someone gets an allergic reaction, consider getting him or her tested. It will be worth it to find out early before committing your heart and home to a new pet. For those who are mildly allergic but still want a pet, you can talk to the adoption staff for a list of breeds that are better for people with allergies.