New Dog Checklist
Is getting a dog now a whim or are you really in a place to own a dog. Owning and the responsibility for your dog is like having a child, you must be committed to knowing that every day in your life for the next 12 -15 years you will be responsible for the well being of your new buddy.
Consider The Following…
- How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for your new best friend?
- Is your current living situation dog suitable?
- Do you have any other dogs & how will they react? Are you willing to take the time to introduce your new dog/cat or other pets properly?
- Do you have a plan for your new dog during vacations and/or work or time away from home?
- Why do you want a dog in your life at this time? Is this a whim or do you want a running and hiking buddy? Is your idea of exercise watching TV?
- How many hours/day will your dog be left alone? They are a pack animal, very social and often suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time. Relegated to the back yard does very little to soothe a lonely dog.
- Have you really discussed having a dog with other people living with you? Are they prepared for having a dog in their lives for years to come?
- Is anyone in the household allergic to dog hair, intolerant of hair, dirt and other realities of sharing your home with a dog?
- Are you choosing a dog whose breed characteristics best suit you and your day to day lifestyle? Will you seriously consider Activity levels, Exercise, Grooming & Training needs? Dogs are a pack animal and need connectivity. Will your dog be left alone for extended periods of time that can rightfully create ‘separation anxiety’ for them?
- Is there tension in the home? Dogs quickly pick up on stress in the home, and it can affect their behavior and health.
- Is there an adult in the family who has agreed to be ultimately responsible for your new dog’s care every day?
- If you are thinking of adopting a young dog, do you have the time and patience to work through it’s youthful period growth spurts that include, teething, potty training, lots of time devoted to their excessive need to exercise, play, connect and establish themselves to your lifestyle?
- Have you seriously considered whether a younger or older dog would be a better match for you? Mature dogs have a lot of pros vs. cons.
- Can you train and handle a dog with behavior issues or are you looking for an easy-going friend?
- Will you want and need a dog whose breed is known to be good with children?
- Will you want a dog that is an easy traveler?
- What size dog will your home and lifestyle best accommodate?
- Will you have enough room if your dog grows to be bigger than expected?
- What SIZE dog would suit other people in your family who may have significant interaction with your new dog? Is there a Senior person in your home that could get ‘knocked over’ by a larger dog?
Up Keep ~ Average Cost: $1,078/year per Dog
More likely than not, the rescue organization will charge a fee to help defray the costs they invested in “pulling” your new best friend from a shelter, getting them spayed or neutered, healthy, shots, etc. before you ever were introduced to he or she. The adoption fee you pay will be a fraction of the money you will spend over the lifetime of your dog.
Average Cost & Overhead you can expect:
- Veterinary care
- Crate, Collars, Leashes, Car Restrainer, Dog Bed, Toys, Dishes, etc.
- Identification, dog insurance, microchip ID, etc.
- Licensing according to your local regulations
- Training classes
- Travel carrier
- Car/Boat Safety Harnesses
Accidents & Illness Can be Costly
A dog with special physical or behavioral challenges may require specialized professional support to overcome any obstacles these issues present.
A responsible dog owner should spend at least one hour per day giving direct attention to their dog. This may include training, exercising, grooming, and play time. Dogs need to be taken out to potty several times a day.
A dog with an abundance of energy needs more time to exercise and interactive toys to keep them entertained.
Dog breeds with long coats need 20 minutes several times a week for grooming to prevent matting & dental care to prevent gum disease.
If your dog has certain medical conditions they may need additional attention, including specifically timed injections, i.e. diabetic dogs.
Remember that adopted dogs may need extra bonding and reassurance time during the first few weeks in your home.
**Be sure to find out which food your dog was eating in the shelter or foster home so that you can provide the same in the beginning, again to ease the transition. After the dog has settled in, talk with your veterinarian about switching to the food of your choice.
Necessary Supplies for Your Newly Adopted Dog(s):
- Food and water bowls
- Food (canned and/or dry)
- Harness or collar [harnesses are far more comfortable for your new dog]
- 4 – 6’ leash
- Car Rides: Harness/Seat Belt for Back Seat rides
- ID tag with your phone number, License
- Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
- Dog bed
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Brush and/or comb & towels
- Plastic [biodegradable] poop baggies or pooper scooper
- Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
- Variety of treats (such as small cookies, larger rawhides, etc.)
- First-aid supplies
- Baby gate(s)