Adopting a dog is a responsible and therefore thoughtful act. The adventure, to be beautiful, is conceived in the long term. So, it is better to have thought of everything!
1- SET YOUR BUDGET
The budget obviously depends on the size of your dog; a Chihuahua does not eat like a Beauceron. The amount of daily expenses, such as food, will depend on it. Then there are the regular expenses such as the annual visit to the veterinarian, vaccinations, anti-parasites, deworming and even health insurance. Occasional costs, always in the health field (illness, accident and one unavoidable: sterilization), are also to be expected. In the case of a puppy, investing in its education avoids exposing itself to behavioral or neighborhood worries. Finally, think about the purchase and renewal of toys, bedding, bowls, leashes…
2- TAKE THE TIME
A dog that comes into a home needs to be taken care of. So don’t pick him up on Sunday night and leave him alone on Monday. The ideal is to adopt him at the beginning of the vacations. He will gradually get to know his new home and those who live there. And you will serenely accompany his first steps in this environment. Take advantage of this opportunity to teach him to stay alone.
3- ANTICIPATE THE VACATIONS
An animal is a living being endowed with sensitivity. It does not abandon itself! So, think about it before adoption. Whether you take public transportation or the car, whether you stay with friends, in a hotel or camping, whether you are a sports person, a museum lover or a beach nap lover, you will have to find a solution every time. Always check if your companion is allowed in the places you are going to and if not, have him or her guarded.
4- TAKE CARE OF ITS EXTERIOR
Your dog’s outdoor environment will become your appointment with him. These are the daily outings that allow him to relieve himself. This is not a problem if you have a garden or live in the country. But, if you are in the city, you will need to find a nice walk, other than between two exhaust pipes… And be ready to pick up his excrement! Find out about parks, woods, forests not too far from your home for long walks, those where he can run and, above all, where he can rub shoulders and have fun with other dogs. This is vital for his balance and for yours.
5- GET OUT OF THE FANTASY
When you think about your future dog, you dream of moments of complicity, games and walks. But things are not always that simple. A puppy is not clean overnight, he can have untimely barks that will attract the wrath of the neighborhood, destroy everything that falls under his teeth or just do as he pleases! In short, the doggie of your dreams can very quickly become an infernal dog if you do nothing. So, before adopting, be prepared to call on an educator to teach him to behave properly. And to go every Saturday at 9 a.m. to dog training classes…
6- GET THE RIGHT DOG
Don’t fall for the fashionable dog or the one your neighbor gave you because it came from an unwanted litter! If you have a preference for a breed, find out about its needs and behaviours to see if they fit in with your habits. Don’t take a sporting dog if you don’t move from your couch and don’t give in to your children’s demands, which will make them flinch when it comes to taking him out.
7- OPT FOR AN ADULT
There are advantages to adopting an adult dog. This one has generally acquired the basics of cleanliness, obedience and its character can’t surprise you. If he has some bad habits, it is always possible, with patience and professional advice, to correct them.
8- THINK ABOUT SEX
If we should not limit our choice before meeting the dog or bitch who will share our life, the question of his or her sex must be approached not according to his or her character (which varies independently of gender) but according to the constraints that this may induce. A female has heat twice a year, and blood loss such as going out or even running away can be painful. Uncastrated males stop every two minutes to lift their leg and are unmanageable when a female in heat passes by. In both cases, sterilization is recommended to avoid unwanted litters and make life easier in the household. But, depending on whether your dog is a male or a female, the price of this operation will not be the same. Think about it!
9- PREPARE FOR HIS ARRIVAL
Beforehand, find out about the veterinarians around you and the emergency services. Ideally, you will have already made an initial appointment to have a check-up within a month of your arrival. As a family, agree on the rules that the dog will have to respect and don’t hesitate to share the reading of a few books on the subject. Ideally, the entire household will pick up the dog and accompany him/her during his/her first few days at home. In this way, he becomes familiar with his immediate environment and finds his place there more easily. And, if it’s a puppy, don’t forget that he needs to rest…
10- BUY HIS EQUIPMENT
Welcoming a dog means having everything he needs. From day one, you need: a collar, leash or harness, a dog basket or mattress, a brush and grooming kit, two bowls for food and water, a few treats, food adapted to his age or physical condition, poop bags.