Pet Adoption: Not A Decision To Make Lightly


Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

It’s always fascinating when I see the wide variety of pets featured on BlogPaws and the number of pets Hen in car that attend BlogPaws every year. I always like to ask people, “What made you decide to get a ferret, hairless cat, or (fill in the blank) particular dog breed.” It got me to thinking of why I chose a miniature Poodle when I got my Diva Poodle, Henrietta so I thought I’d take a break from my usual social media and blogging posts to offer some helpful tips on choosing the best puppy for your family.

When I made the decision that I was going to get “my very own” dog (we already had a family dog, but I wanted my own to spoil and have as a traveling and office companion, I took time to decide what I really wanted in a lifelong companion. I knew I wanted a tiny dog and one that didn’t shed – that ruled out several breeds immediately. I also knew I wanted a smart dog and Poodles are ranked among the most intelligent.

SpenserBecause I enjoy walking and wanted a dog that could keep up with me that also ruled out a few others because of their inability to either tolerate heat or long walks (Pugs, for example). After research I made the decision to adopt a Poodle and viola, along came Henrietta! It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision because I knew she would be a decades long commitment. I also knew that if I lived alone I could never have handled the dog we already had, Spenser – he was too large, shed too much and was simply too much dog for me, besides the fact he won’t fit in a purse the way Henrietta does!

Anyway, here is some information and insight to help you make your decision on a dog to bring into your home. Remember, regardless of the breed you’re looking for – whether a purebred or a Heinz 57 (what my mom calls mixed breeds) look into rescues and adoptions when you begin your search:

  • What size dog do you want? Small, medium, large or something in between? Do you want a purebred or a mix of breeds? Does your dog need to be good with children? Do you want a dog that needs to be taken to a groomer (Poodles do)? Do you want a dog that is a couch potato or one that loves to play fetch? Don’t forget to budget for pet food, large breeds eat a lot as we’ve found out with Spenser.
  • Once you have the answers to the above questions, it’s time to ask a veterinarian or check the Internet or books in the library. Look for breeds that have the qualities you’re seeking.
  • Ask friends and family about their dogs and what they like (and don’t like) about the breed they’ve chosen. Is the breed easy to housebreak? Does it bark a lot? Does it have medical needs that you may be unaware of?

Remember, regardless of the breed that you choose, it is a lifelong commitment. You can’t turn it back to the adoption agency once its cuteness wears off or after you’ve cleaned up the third indoor potty accident of the day or once he’s chewed your favorite pair of shoes. Pet ownership – whether a dog, cat, ferret or bird – requires the owner to take responsibility for not only the care, but the training of the pet.

Make certain you’re ready for the commitment of pet ownership and that your work schedule and lifestyle are a good match for bringing a puppy (or an older dog) into the home. Adopting a pet should never be a spontaneous decision.

What made you choose your four-legged family member?





10 Responses to “Pet Adoption: Not A Decision To Make Lightly”

  1. Pamela

    Great post. It really is best to ask yourself all those questions before coming face to face with a fuzzy face. Because once you fall in love, all the practical considerations go right out the window.
    After having several reactive dogs, my primary need was for a dog friendly to other dogs and people. Honey is a perfect fit and she’s been a terrific foster sister as we’ve brought dogs in and out of our home for short times.
    I’m so glad I spent time thinking about my choice before becoming infatuated on PetFinder. 🙂

  2. Robbi

    Great advice, Pamela. It’s true that coming face to face with a beautiful furry puppy can make you toss caution to the wind — knowing your personality and how much dog you can handle is crucial for a long-lasting relationship!

  3. Carol Bryant

    My dogs always chose me. I recall from the time I was little to present day.
    When you write, “Remember, regardless of the breed that you choose, it is a lifelong commitment” how true this is. I wish everyone would remember this —pets are not a fad, they are beloved family members. I am preaching to the choir, I know. Just venting. Great piece, Robbi!

  4. Aggie

    For as long as I can remember there have been 4 legged siblings in my life. Dogs, cats, a pair of ponies just to mention a few. My present dog chose me. I got him from the SPCA and when they brought him out for the “meet and greet” he came and sat next to me although there 3 of us in the outdoor pen. He has been my best buddy ever since.

  5. Blogpawskristin

    Cokie the Cat definitely chose me. I was at a city shelter, wanting to adopt an older tabby, but as I walked past his cage he meowed at me – four different types of meows – like he was actually having a conversation with me. When I stopped to look at him – 1 year old big white fluffy long haired exact opposite of what I was looking for cat – I leaned in to say hello and he put his giant tiger paw with white fur sticking out between his toes firmly on my nose – and held it there. That lasted about ten seconds and I was his for life. We’re both 17 years older now and still in love.

  6. JL Smith

    Great post, thanks for sharing. I Tweeted and put on FB.

  7. Vicki Cook

    I did not choose my pets – they all chose me. My four cats all showed up at my house as strays. I took them in, had them spayed/neutered and now they own the place!I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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