Should I Adopt A Dog? 4 Ways to Know You’re Ready

Posted by Regine Chan on

You’re home and going for more (socially distanced!) walks—wouldn’t that be perfect for a new dog?

Plenty of people have brought home a new family member in the last few weeks—and who hasn’t been tempted to at least peek at some furry faces on the local shelter’s website lately?

It makes sense: you have lots of extra love and attention to give right now. Could it be the ideal opportunity to find that silver (or golden? Or spotted? Tan?) lining—and bring it home for all the treats and toys and snuggles?

Maybe! Let’s think it through, though, together.


What do I need to do before deciding to adopt a dog during COVID?

#1 Think long term

Whatcha doing in 10 years? 15? Will it be dog-friendly?
Dogs live long lives, and will still need your time after COVID has passed. Will work, travel, family, and other priorities get in the way of being a good pet parent? Skip to option #4, if so.

#2 Choose your pooch wisely
Pick a dog that fits your life—for their whole life
Some dogs need lots of chill time; others, lots of thrill time. Your life now and after COVID might look different—so make sure your needs and your prospective dog’s needs match, now and in the future.

#3 Respect the pack

If you’ve got kids or multiple doggos, be extra selective.
Many shelters are overwhelmed right now, and might struggle with a “take-back.” Catch potential problems before adopting by taking extra steps to set up a meeting between prospective “siblings”—human or canine.

#4 Backup plan: foster!
Change a dog’s life, even if you don’t adopt.
Alright, so you aren’t ready for 10–15 years of dog parenthood, but is there a way to get some short-term dog time? Yes! See if your local shelter could use your dog-fostering help until things settle down.

The dogs of the world thank you for thinking of their long-term futures. If you’re not in the right place to adopt now, consider supporting dogs in other ways—a donation to your local shelter could be more appreciated now than ever.


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