Adopting a dog as a pet: benefits, things to consider and requirements

At the Pet Shop Boyz, we care deeply about animal welfare and want to ensure you and your family make the right choice when adopting a new family pet. 
 
Should I adopt or shop for a pet?
 
Sadly, more than 44,000 abandoned dogs are euthanised each year in Australia. But the good news is that there’s something we can do to prevent this. That’s right, adopt, don't shop! 
 
Adopting pets is essential to preventing overbreeding in Australia and in keeping the number of euthanised animals to a minimum. But adopting isn’t only essential for saving animals’ lives, it can also be a wonderful way to offer support and companionship to those needing a pet in their lives. 
 
Firstly, adopting can be much cheaper than buying a dog. Pets that are up for adoption are usually vaccinated and dewormed - so it’s a win win! Caregivers and volunteers working in shelters and kennels often spend a lot of time with the pets and get to know them before they find their forever homes. So, they’ll often be able to give you plenty of great advice on the particular needs of your newly adopted pooch.
 
Benefits of pets for children
 
In a world full of screens, taking the dog for a walk can be the perfect excuse to spend quality time with the family and get some exercise in. High-energy dogs can also increase childrens’ physical activity because they require more play time to burn all that energy! 
 
Having a pet, especially those which require a higher level of attention and care, can also educate kids by giving them an important sense of responsibility.
 
On the other hand, by being around dog fur from an early age, children may be less likely to develop allergies when living with a pet (something they’ll thank you for later!). 
 
Things to consider when adopting
 
Responsible adoption means that you’re able to provide quality care for your pet. When adopting a pet, it’s important to consider your family’s situation and whether you are truly able to care for a pet in the long-run. This way, you’ll avoid having to abandon your pet later on. 
 
Firstly, having a pet can cost an arm and a leg! It’s important to make sure you’ve got enough money in the bank to account for unforeseeable medical expenses, or that you can afford pet insurance. Much like children, having a pet comes with plenty of costs, including quality pet food, pet supplies, medical expenses and even pet insurance. 
 
It’s also important to consider your family’s lifestyle and busy schedules, and whether your family’s needs are compatible with having a family dog. If you’re often travelling, for example, having a pet mightn’t be the most practical solution. If you live in a small apartment, you might also reconsider adopting a medium or large dog. It’s also important to take your dog for regular walks, so ensuring you have time to do a daily walk is essential. Having other pets in the home can also make the adjustment period difficult, so families should take extra precautions to ensure that both the old and new pets are familiar and can live together peacefully. 
 
Choosing the right dog breed for your family is essential. There are plenty of breeds to choose from but before going to the animal shelter, it’s good to have a few breeds in mind. Reflect on which dog breeds are most suitable for your family or take a look at this family dog quiz for help. 
 
Choosing the right dog for your family
 
If you’ve got some youngsters in your family, you’ll need to be extra careful when choosing the right type of dog. Training your dog will also be extra important with young children and babies around. We recommend considering gentle dog breeds and putting in the effort to ensure that your pet is well trained to keep both your children and pets safe. 
 
It’s also important to consider that your child(ren) might have pet allergies which need to be taken into consideration. Try visiting a friend or family member with pets and take note of any possible irritations before adopting. 
 
 
Which pet is most suitable for my home? 
 
The size of your house also needs to be taken into consideration when selecting the perfect pooch for your family. For homes such as apartments or small houses, it is more convenient to choose small dogs, with lower energy levels or even older dogs with less energy to burn.
 
On the other hand, homes with big spaces for play such as large gardens are ideal for young, high-energy dogs and bigger dog breeds.
 
How about the climate?
 
You’ll also need to consider the climate you live in when selecting a dog breed. There are breeds of dogs that endure the cold much better, such as the Siberian Husky or the Chow Chow, and, on the other hand, there are dogs that endure the heat better, such as the Dalmatian. Keeping this in mind when making your choice can make your pet's life easier to manage (and yours, too!). 
 
How do I adopt?
 
Today there are numerous shelters, non-profit associations, animal welfare organisations and kennels where you can adopt a dog as a pet. Many of them have websites where they publish information about the dogs they have in their facilities, which is super handy for helping you select the perfect pooch for your family. The adoption procedure will differ slightly depending on the organisation you adopt through. Head on over to RSPCA New South Wales to get started. 

This article is written in collaboration with Babysits - Australia’s babysitting community. Are you looking for a babysitter or nanny? Use Babysits to easily find a babysitter near you.

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