by Terry Peh February 08, 2018 3 min read

After spending the last one year stalking cute doggos on Instagram and watching dog videos on Facebook, you're finally ready to adopt a dog. Before you take the plunge, here are 5 things you should prepare yourself for when you adopt a dog!

1. It involves everyone in the family

Unless you live alone and have no family, adoption is hardly an individual matter. You might think that adopting a dog is a decision that only you need to live with, but the fact is, everyone in the family will be interacting with your dog. Is there a strict diet your dog needs to adhere to? Or a desired behaviour you want your dog to adopt? If this is not communicated with the rest of the family, you can expect some ‘variations’ in behaviour depending on who is interacting with your dog!

P.S. I highly recommend engaging a trainer, and getting the whole family involved.

Maybe give the cat a heads up too.

2. Your lifestyle will change (for the better)

Getting a dog is somewhat similar to having a child. You have to consider its feeding and walking schedule - if your dog is grass-trained, consider that it will need to do its business first thing in the morning, and once more in the evening. If you travel often, you’ll also need to consider pet sitting and pet boarding to ensure that your dog is well taken care of when you’re away. In fact, many dog owners I know are reluctant to go on long holidays precisely because they can’t bear to be away from their dogs for too long.

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Adopting a Dog

On a positive note, you’ll also be more active (because of the walks), less stressed and a much happier human being, for few can resist the adorable antics of our four legged friends!

3. It costs money

Adopting a dog is almost like having a child. Aside from food and basic accessories, you must consider the medical costs of caring for a dog. If you're adopting a puppy, you'll have to send it for vaccinations and sterilization. If you're one of the kindest souls that ever walked the earth and have your eyes set on a senior dog, be prepared to fork out significant sums for treatments and surgery. Be sure to set aside a sum for basic necessities, research medical costs, and set aside an emergency sum for that. You can also consider getting dog insurance, but even that costs an arm and a paw.

Of course, you should be smart about your finances. Ensure your dog is on a healthy diet and leads an active lifestyle, as this will reduce your trips to the vet. Involve family members in caring for your dog, so you don’t have to spend extra on pet sitters or boarding facilities. 

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Adopting a Dog

Don't allow doggo to make you poorer than you already are...

4. The community makes a huge difference...

Love big dogs, but live in a HDB? AVA has made some exceptions underProject ADORE. Make sure you read up onAVA's guidelines before signing on the dotted line. Even if your dog is HDB-approved, or if you live in a private estate, ensure that your dog is well-trained so that they don’t give anyone reason to raise complaints, thus giving the authorities the right to take away your dog.

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Adopting a Dog

This little pupper isn't HDB-approved.

5. It will test your patience (but you’ll be a better person for it!)

Are you a stickler for cleanliness? Do you spend hours picking up hair, and freshening your home? Your dog is sure to make a mess, shedding fur, chewing up things, marking, and the occasional poop accident. Are you prepared to deal with all of that, with patience and love? Because your dog will definitely test both!

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Adopting a Dog

All that said though, getting a dog is truly one of the best experiences anyone will have. Dogs love unconditionally, so be responsible and make sure you give them the same amount of love and care back. If you’re keen on getting a dog, be sure to check out our next article about why it’s better to adopt than buy.

After 12 years in the corporate world, Terry decided to leave the rat race for Good Dog People™. He's on the pursuit of redefining dog ownership, one dog at a time. In his spare time, Terry enjoys chasing the light, explore new hiking and running trails, growing his own food and spending time with his rescued schnauzers. Follow him on IG @terrypeh.

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