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Does my Lifestyle Affect Which Dog I Should Adopt?

Dogs are great companions, and it is easy to jump into an adoption without first taking the time to consider what type of dog fit with your lifestyle. It doesn't matter how cute the puppy face staring at you is. A hyperactive dog is not going to be a good fit if you live in a city apartment and work 60 hours a week. If you allow your emotions to rule the day, you might end up with a dog that needs more emotional support than you are prepared to give. Oftentimes, in these situations, the hyperactive or traumatized pooch ends up being returned to the shelter and is worse off for the remainder of their lives.

Answer: Lifestyle Plays a Big Role in Dog Adoption Choices

Your lifestyle does matter when it comes to choosing a four-legged friend. It is a good idea to think about the type of dog that might suit your lifestyle. Consider some of these questions before heading to the shelter in search of a new friend.

  • Are you hoping for a companion to go on long hikes with?
  • Do you live somewhere where a dog could have the freedom to run off-leash?
  • Do you have children or other dogs?
  • Are you looking for a docile dog that likes to sleep all the time?
  • How much time do you have to spare?

These are important questions for determining what age, breed, and energy level suits your lifestyle. A companion not suited to your lifestyle is stressful and painful for both you and your dog.

It is difficult to determine the exact breed/mix of most shelter dogs. Having a general idea, though, can help you make a more educated decision. Herding breeds are smart and active. They need to be challenged constantly and need lots of room to run. Smaller breeds tend to be easier to handle in some instances. Because they are smaller, their behaviors and messes are usually easier to deal with. Nevertheless, they might tend to bark and not be able to hold their bladder as long. Beagles are wonderful family pets, but love to wander off. As you can see, breed characteristics can play a big role in choosing a shelter dog.

Shelter life can be a bit traumatizing for many dogs. It can take up to three weeks for an adopted dog to start showing his or her true personality. Listen to the attendees at the kennel. Try to ascertain each dog's temperament. It might be an option to foster a particular dog before committing to adoption.

Dog adoption is a wonderful thing. Take the time to think about your lifestyle and the type of companion you are looking for before visiting your local shelter. Prior planning can make the adoption experience much more pleasant for you and your new furry friend.

Additional Resources

This is just a brief overview of what to consider when choosing to adopt a dog. Here are some other resources to help you choose the perfect pup for you and your lifestyle.

  1. The Humane Society of the United States – The Humane Society is one of the leading animal advocacy organization. They seek to find well-deserving homes for animals across the nation. They have wonderful articles on choosing companions as well as adjusting to your new dog-friendly life.
  2. ASPCA – ASPCA is one of the first ever established humane society. They offer great advice for individuals looking to adopt backed by years of experience. Their site is full of tips and things to consider before adopting a shelter dog. Their ultimate goal is to find happy homes for all the animals in their care.
  3. American Kennel Club – The AKC Rescue Network was created to help hopeful dog owners find information on breed-specific rescues. If you are hoping to adopt a specific breed of dog, consider checking this resource out. Breed-specific rescues are a great way to adopt responsibly while enjoying the characteristics of a purebred pup.