Are you ready to adopt a dog?

by | Pet Planning |

Adopting a dog changes your life forever. To help you decide if you’re ready to adopt a dog we’ve put together information on caregiver responsibilities and considerations before adopting! 

How does adopting a dog impact your life? 

By adopting a dog, you gain a loving companion who greets your homecomings with joyful abandon (regardless of if you were gone five minutes or five hours), an eager partner to join you on every adventure (whether it’s placing your recyclables at the curb or visiting a park), and an inspirational sidekick who lives each moment to the fullest. 

Adoption also changes some of the people in your life (dogs attract new friends!), your activity level (lace up those walking shoes), your schedule (dogs need companionship and can’t be left alone for long hours) and your spending habits. As you consider whether or not you are ready to adopt, keep in mind the commitment and responsibilities involved. 

General considerations 
  • Small dogs may live for 15 or more years and large dogs typically live less than 12 years. 
  • Dogs need regular exercise and should be walked two or three times a day (the backyard does not provide enough exercise, stimulation or fun). Some dogs require vigorous off-leash exercise, too. 
  • If your dog hasn’t been trained, you may need to attend training classes to help you understand your dog and develop a clear and consistent way of communicating. Most lessons are one hour per week for eight weeks. 
  • Dogs require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and clean. You will need to do this yourself or take your dog to a groomer. Cost per year depends on the breed and frequency. 
  • Dogs require regular nail trimming and teeth brushing (note: there is special toothpaste available at pet stores that is safe for dogs). 
  • You will need to clean your home more, particularly if you have a long-haired dog. 
  • Dogs need and crave companionship and should spend most of their time inside with their family. 
  • The cost of adopting a dog is only the initial expense. You will need to provide food, identification (dog tags and licensing your pet); ongoing veterinary care, including vaccinations, possible surgeries and dental care; and ongoing supplies, such as food, dishes, toys and grooming tools. 
  • The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association estimates that it costs approximately $5,016 (male)/$5,103 (female) per year to care for a puppy, and approximately $3,999 annually to care for an adult dog (based on 2022 numbers). 
  • You’ll also need to be prepared to puppy/dog proof your home. Before bringing home a dog it’s important to have a safe space in your home for the dog to reside when you’re away from the house. This space will help them get comfortable until they’re ready to safely roam free in the house without supervision. It’s also advisable not to have carpet in this space to discourage accidents and make clean-up easier when accidents happen. 

With all of this in mind, studies have also shown that dogs are good for your health and can help you withstand life stresses! 

Age considerations 

Like people, dogs have varying needs and personalities so it’s important to find the right match between you, your lifestyle and your new canine companion. To help you choose a dog that will fit with your lifestyle and expectations, here is a blog with a list of four age categories and the general characteristics (benefits and challenges!) of each.  

That being said, often the dog we pick is one who steals our heart regardless of prior research – if so, make sure you are willing to give the animal the love, energy and devotion they deserve!  

Now what? 

If you are convinced that you are ready for a dog in your life, please visit our website to see animals available for adoption. Adoption centre staff will help you through every step of finding your special friend – one that is just right for you.  

Also read Choosing the Right Companion and 10 Tips to a Successful Adoption to help prepare you for a successful adoption. 



Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves

Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society.  Thanks for your good work!