Adopting a dog from a shelter is going to be the best decision you are going to make in your life.

By adopting and not shopping you are not just saving a life, but you are also inviting unconditional love. Being ready to become a dog parent, you’re probably thinking of all the fun and exciting times with your furry friend. The dog is going to be your playmate, walking partner, companion, and so much more. 

Your life is certainly going to change for the better. Of course, it means a lot of added responsibility but you have hopefully factored that in before deciding to become a pet parent. 

So, you’ve made up your mind, probably zeroed in on the shelter, and are on your way to adopt. What could go wrong? A lot of things. 

There are several mistakes you could make in the seemingly easy process of adopting a dog. For instance, only focussing on looks or only certain traits are common mistakes people make. By overstressing on looks or specific personality traits you might actually miss a good match. 

Here are some common mistakes that people commit while adopting a dog

Rushing the decision

It isn’t easy to resist the urge of getting a dog, but you must consider all the pros and cons before starting with the process. From the availability of proper space to your time, you must make a note of it all. The decision to bring home a pet is not a matter of a few days, but a lifetime. Think about whether you are actually ready for it. There are financial concerns also involved as you will have to provide for its necessary check-ups, food, and all the essentials.

Not doing enough research 

Before deciding what size and kind of dog you are looking for, research properly about all breeds and their characteristics. Do a thorough research about different breeds to find out which one suits best according to your environment and lifestyle. A retriever might be suitable as per your apartment size but not your routine as it requires more exercise and grooming than other dogs. You also need to check beforehand whether people in your family and around you have some allergies pertaining to dogs. Thinking about the reason why you are getting a dog, you must choose the breed and size. 

Falling for (just) the puppy face

Well, we can’t blame you for making this mistake! There is nothing more adorable than a puppy with an innocent face. Puppies bring with them challenges adult dogs may not. They are hard to resist but don’t forget they are equally hard to take care of and manage. You need to train them properly and also deal with the mess they will create and teach them how to socialize. You might miss out looking at a grown-up dog who is in need of a house and is well-trained and ready to be your buddy. Think wisely while adopting the dog.

Taking the warnings lightly

Many rescue animals come with their own baggage of challenges. While interacting with the dogs you might see some warning signs with a few of them because of their previous traumatic experiences. It is also possible that as a new pet parent you may not be able to interpret dog behaviour properly. For example, you might choose a dog because of its playful nature only to realize s/he is destructive in a small apartment. Alternatively, a hound feeling stressed at the shelter might be absolutely happy at the comfort of your home. Multiple visits to the shelter and enquiring about the dogs can help you make the right decision. 

Not asking questions

The above-mentioned mistake can be avoided by asking a lot of questions. You are free to get all your questions answered by the people at the shelter home before you adopt your dog. Remember, there are no stupid questions when you’re making such a big decision of your life. Don’t be shy, feel free to ask so that you are not sorry later. Be prepared beforehand and have your list of questions ready with you so that you don’t leave with a doubt in your mind. Get as many details as you can about the dog’s temperament, medical details, history, et all.

Not involving entire family in decision making

The dog you are adopting should get along with all the members of the family, even with the other pets in your house. If you have another dog, take him along with you to the shelter so that you can see who it bonds the most with. Also, make sure to take your children with you as not every dog is kid-friendly and the kids would be spending the most time with the dog, so they need to create a bond beforehand.

Ignoring the caretaker’s advice

The people at the shelter meet many people and families every day who come forward for adoption. They ask you questions about your lifestyle, routine and more. Listen to them carefully when they tell you what kind of dog would suit your home the best. They know each and every dog very well and are in the best position to give you the right suggestions.

Adopting because you feel sorry

Listening to the pain that the dog has been through, anyone would feel sorry for them but that is not reason enough for you to adopt it. You must adopt it only when you feel it’s the right match for you. This is what will sustain your relationship with your dog in the long term.

Being rigid about a particular breed

It is important to have a specific kind of dog in your mind while going for adoption but don’t be so adamant about it that you ignore the connection you feel with a dog from another breed. The individual personality of a dog matters the most.

Expecting it to be easy

The adjustment once you get the dog home is not going to be easy. You will need to work a lot to make it feel comfortable and also adjust your routine and lifestyle at some places. Be ready for all the hard work and commitment. In return, you will get unconditional love and affection.

Before starting your process of adoption, you must know all about the procedure and also make sure to not make any mistakes on the way. You are about to make a lifetime commitment, so don’t rush, take your time and move ahead.