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  Ask yourself the following questions before adopting a dog. Adopting a dog is a big commitment. Make sure you are ready to adopt a new companion. These questions will help you decide whether you are really ready for a newcomer.

Can I afford it?
Maybe you can afford the adoption fee, but what about food, veterinarian bills and accessories? A good owner keeps up with annual physicals, vaccinations and shots. Can you afford this? What if Rex gets into an accident or suddenly gets sick? Do you have the money to take him to the vet for an examination, x-rays and/or medications? Can you afford to get Rex nutritional food? Can you afford to pay for Rexís training & behavior classes? What about collars, leashes, bowls and toys? What happens when you go away for a vacation? Do you know someone that will take care of Rex? If not, then you need to board him at a kennel. Are you willing to pay for this? These are all things that you need to consider.

Does my landlord allow dogs?
If your landlord does not allow dogs, then you cannot and should not adopt a dog. You will probably be caught and then what? Will you have the patience to find a place that allows dogs?

Would I give up my dog if it were difficult to find a place that allows dogs?
Many landlords do not allow pets Ė especially dogs. Some landlords discriminate against certain breeds. You need to seriously consider whether you would make the extra effort to find a place that allows dogs.

You may have had Rex for two years and need to move but it has been difficult to find a place that will accept pets. Will you give in and give him up, or will you be persistent and keep looking? Your dog is a lifetime commitment and moving should never be a reason to give him up.

Can I see myself owning this dog for the next 10-15 years?
Some dogs live up to 10-15 years (and thatís not in dog years). Are you ready to live with and care for Rex for this long? Are you sure youíll be willing to walk Rex everyday for the rest of his life?

Do I have time in my busy schedule for a new dog?
Do you have time in your schedule to walk Rex at least 3 times a day? Do you have time to housebreak your new puppy? This takes a lot of work. Even adopting an adult dog is a lot of work. This adult will need to get used to a new schedule. He may have had a different schedule in his previous home and he may have been in a shelter for a while. If not done properly, the housebreaking period could be prolonged and this can be frustrating. Do you have someone that can help you out with this?

Are you prepared to invite Rex into your home as a family member? He will require hours of your day. He will need plenty of exercise and just being let out in the yard will not suffice (Rex should never be left outside in the yard unsupervised). Rex should be walked and may even need to run (on a leash or in a fenced in area).
 
 

 
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 Common misconceptions
 before adopting a dog:
1. Weíre getting Rex for the kids - they will do all the work.

Maybe for the first week or so, but most kids will slack off soon enough and the responsibility will fall on your laps. You are considered to be the owner because you are over the age of 21. If your kids do not walk Rex, then it is up to you that it gets done. As much as we talk to our kids about responsibility and as much as they agree to care for your new dog, we all know that sooner or later most kids will lose interest or get tired.

If you can positively answer these questions and concerns, then you may be ready to adopt Rex.
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    Underdog ResQ, Inc.            P.O. Box 487            Compound, NY 10517          info@underdogresq.org
   
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