Looking For A Furry Bff? 5 Questions To Ask Before You Adopt A Dog

April 1st, 2023

adoptable dog wearing bandanna


Are you considering welcoming a furry companion into your home? A dog pal can be the best kind of pal. They so effortlessly ooze lots of love, dedication, attention, and playfulness. They will be your #1 fan, and their loyalty is unwavering – let’s face it, the perfect friend. Why would you even hesitate to go out and scoop up a furry buddy right now?!! Well, hold tight for just a second before you rush out the door to find your newfound friend. There are important things to consider, given these little friendly sidekicks are also incredibly dependent little beings, which means they need large amounts of attention.

Adopting a dog is making a commitment and a long-term one at that, so it is worth taking a moment to consider if this is the right time in your life to welcome a new, slobbery, face-licking friend into your household.

Taking the time to do your research and think about this big next step is worthwhile because as soon as you visit a shelter or rescue home and you are greeted with adorable faces and puppy-dog eyes, your heart will immediately take over. And all those rational decision-making parts of your brain will completely shut down.

The prep work, research, and even a pro and con list are in the best interest of you and your potential new furry roommate.

To help you get started, we’ve got 5 questions to ask. These act as a guide and will help you decide if this is the ideal time to adopt or if you should sit on it and wait.

lazy dog on couch


1. Why do you REALLY want a dog?

It’s not necessarily meant to be a philosophical question but truly think and reflect on – why a dog and why now. If your answers fall into categories like – the kids are begging for a puppy, I am a little lonely, all my friends have a dog, or I want to surprise my partner with a gift, these are examples of why you should take time to evaluate if this is the right decision. Peer pressure or filling a void can mean you may need more time to be ready to take such a big step. It doesn’t mean never, just maybe not at this phase of your life.

Dogs can be a lot of fun and joy to have around, but they can also be a lot of work. Consider whether you have the patience and long-term commitment to care for a dog’s needs, keep a safe home, and are emotionally prepared to do so.

2. What do your daily routines and overall lifestyle look like?

The good news – there are so many breeds that can fit your personality and lifestyle. Evaluating your current schedule can help you decide if you have the capability and time to devote to a dog. Dogs require daily exercise, attention, and training – here are areas to chew over to ensure you can fulfill these basic requirements your BFF will need.

  • Work Situation: Do you leave the house all day for work? Work long hours?
  • Travel: Do you travel a lot? Will they tag along with you?
  • Your Activity Level: Do you seek the outside, like hikes or camping every weekend, or like to hang out indoors with a good book and Netflix?
  • Living Space: Are there other pets or kids in your home? What kind of home – apartment or house?
  • Health: Are there any health ailments to consider or allergies people in your house may experience?

dog holding leash


3. What’s Your Doggy Budget?

Having a dog means seeing a lot of dollar signs in your immediate and distant future. Below is a rundown of possible everyday costs of owning a furry friend.

Keep in mind how much you spend is dependent on the type of breed and their specific needs.

Chow Time! Every dog needs a healthy diet of the right food, not to mention all those treats, because you’ll want to reward them for their outstanding doggy behaviors! Some dogs may have dietary restrictions or medical conditions that require special food.

Vet Trips: Just like people, dogs need to get their annual check-ups and vaccinations to stay healthy and ensure it stays that way! It can also mean needing certain medications or treatment for fleas/ticks. It’s also a good time to review pet insurance options because a good plan can help with unexpected medical conditions, like surgeries or special treatments.

Looking Good: Bathing, brushing, and haircuts are all necessary for some dogs, especially those with longer hair. It’s also important to keep nails trimmed on certain breeds as well.

Gifts Galore: Leashes, collars, toys, bed, crate, and a favorite stuffy should also be accounted for. Basically, plan on spoiling them with all sorts of fun surprises!

Doggy School or Daycare: You may be your dog’s best mate, but they also require other friends. Dogs need training and socialization to become healthy and happy members of their households. Also,
if you go out of town, you may need to board your dog or hire someone to dog-sit while you are away.

Dogs are an ongoing cost, and you should always budget to plan for unexpected situations like a trip to the veterinarian or replacing all those toys that keep getting played with a little too roughly. All of the above will give your BFF the long, happy, and healthy life they deserve.

dog and human on beach best friend for life text


4. What breed is best for you?

Whether deciding between a puppy or an older dog, research to find the breed that fits your lifestyle and personality. Regardless of their breed, they all offer equal amounts of love and happiness. Each type of dog has its own doggy traits and requirements, so learning about them will help decide the right companion and how to plan and prepare—for example, different energy levels, temperaments, and physical exercise requirements.

Consider the size of a dog that would make the most sense based on your living situation, male or female, a high-energy dog or a lap dog? What kind of companion are you looking for? Does your BFF go on hikes with you or travel on a plane? Do you want them to chill on a couch? You will be their favorite friend, so you have to decide what you want in this friendship, and together you will experience and build amazing memories!

dog and child looking out a window


5. What does the future look like?

There’s no way to predict the future and what life will throw your way, but seeing if any potential changes may unfold is helpful since dogs can live for many years (10-17 years). For example, if you plan to have children or move to a new home, maybe you plan on retiring and traveling the world.

Asking where you see yourself over the next few weeks, months, and even years will validate your decision either way.

Sometimes it’s not 100% clear whether you should be a dog owner, but answering the questions above and knowing what to expect before adopting a dog pal can give you the confidence to make the right decision and even help make the transition to pet parenthood as smooth as possible.

Do you want to see something that will put a smile on your face and leave you will all the good feels for the day? Check out Happy Hound’s webcams and see all sorts of dogs enjoying their best life!
Cameras are only operational from 10 am – 4 pm PST. The puppies in Puppy Park are out playing at: 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.