Adopting a dog is a great and kind decision that you have made, congrats to you! Well, prepare to have your life changed by this absolute gem of a being! Dogs are pure happiness, love, and joy, and what more satisfaction do you need than providing a beautiful life for them?
It is common to find yourself confused regarding which dog to choose, how to adopt a dog, and what you will be required to do for your dog. This blog contains great tips and steps to adopt a dog and will make your adoption process a lot easier than you expected!
1. Decide which dog you want
Let’s start with the very first step. It’s great that you want to adopt a dog, but which one? Which breed? Male or Female? Puppy or Adult?… Yes, these questions can be overwhelming but try answering them one at a time and you will know the perfect match for you. Here are a few tips to help you decide:
- Define the purpose: Do you want the dog for guarding, as a companion or something else?
- Size matters: If you live in an apartment, choose a smaller breed and if you have a yard, you can go for larger and more active breeds.
- Environmental factors: Make a list of your favorite breeds and cut those that cannot survive in your local climatic conditions (Like Siberian Huskies or St. Bernard that suffers a lot in hot temperatures) – you can’t have them! Though India has not banned any breed, it is good to know about dangerous breeds to avoid.
- Age: If you are prepared to invest lots of time, then you can gladly go for a puppy. Else, you can choose an adult or senior dog. Note that it doesn’t mean they are trained always, they are just less exhausting (and cute) than a puppy.
- Some breeds are high-maintenance and some are low-maintenance.
- Once you have narrowed down your choices of breeds, do in-depth research about each, regarding their health, developmental changes, needs, temperament, and others.
2. Things to keep in mind before adopting a dog
Bringing home a dog is easy. But are you equipped to provide the time, care, and love it needs? Most people are too excited about getting a dog, they are not aware of what all it entails. Along with adopting a dog, comes certain responsibilities and understanding. If you are a first-timer especially, read below to check if you can take up the task of a dog parent.
- The dog might be facing anxiety issues on leaving his old home and being surrounded by strangers. It’s completely okay! He will grow out of it, just make sure you don’t overwhelm him and give him time to get used to this new life.
- Be prepared to make changes to your routine – you will have to plan the day for you and your dog.
- If you are caught up at work or travel often, is there someone else to look after the dog?
- Dogs are emotional beings too. They need your attention, your time, and loads of love.
- Make sure that you can handle the expenses that come along with a dog. Buying a dog is just the first price you pay; after this, you will have to bear the costs for food, vaccination, health check-ups, accessories, grooming, and any emergency situations as well.
- Taking care of a dog is not limited to providing bedding and food, there’s a lot more! Dogs need to have regular baths, nails trimmed, coat brushed, and most importantly, checked for ticks and fleas.
- Training a dog is essential, especially for indoor dogs, if you wish to come back to a house in order! Training them with the basic commands, potty training, and restricted areas are important. Dog training is not an easy task – it requires weeks and months of persistent effort.
- Dogs require lots of physical activity and time out in the fresh air. Especially if they are larger or active breeds, exercise is crucial.
3. How to adopt a dog in India
Now that you have decided what kind of dog or which breed you want, next is looking for a dog shelter to adopt a dog.
Almost all major cities and towns in India have dog shelters and animal rescues – go online and check for the ones closest to you. You can then call or visit the shelters and enquire about the dogs that are available. It is strongly recommended to visit the dogs yourself and you are bound to have ‘that moment’ with ‘the one’ for you!
Once you find your new best friend, make sure to get details on the dog’s parents, past medical and behavioural history, and any other important information you need to know.
Most shelter dogs might not be vaccinated, so take him to the vet before taking him home. The vet will perform a regular check-up and prescribe the required vaccinations and supplements. Ensure the dog is dewormed, checked for ticks, and has a health certificate. Also, make sure he has a good bath and is well-groomed before he is allowed to roam around the house.
4. Why buy a dog when you can adopt?
In most other countries, there is a strong behaviour of people adopting a shelter dog while Indians prefer buying dogs from breeders and pet stores. Note that breeders and puppy mills often employ cruel and harsh practices towards dogs to obtain more puppies and sell them for great profits. Once a dog is no longer able to breed well, it is often killed. By turning to adoption, we can take down such cruel institutions.
India has an infinite number of healthy dogs in shelters. These dogs are often put to sleep when they are old, physically challenged, or diseased as the shelters can’t handle such big numbers. Dogs are lovely beings and they don’t deserve such harsh lives. We can turn this around by choosing to adopt a dog. And not just that, by adopting, you are saving a life! These dogs have been waiting forever, to be loved and cherished and once you take them in, they will be eternally loving, loyal and grateful to you.
Also See: Homemade Dog Food Recipes