“Dogs are a man’s best friend” is a famous quote that portrays the love humans have for their pets. When we adopt a pet, they become a part of our family and immediately receive all the blessings that come with it. We spoil them, love them, provide for them, take them on trips, take them on walks, and the list goes on. Pets truly become like another child in our home.

According to The Washington Post, adoptions have soared since the start of the pandemic and breeders have reported waiting lists into 2021. With more people working from home, the need for a social companion has become more of a priority. If you’re like most people, the thought of adopting a dog can be overwhelming – there are most likely a list of questions that are top of mind: 1) What type of animal is right for me? What type of attention/time is needed for care? What’s the investment on my end? A lot of thought goes into adopting a pet, and that’s only the beginning. After the adoption is finalized, we take them into our homes where the real fun (and expenses) begin.

Before you jump into the process, we want to offer this simple guide to walk you through adopting your first pet.

Know What Type of Dog Will Work for Your Family

Just like all families are different, all dogs are different. Some dogs work better with children and others do not. Some dogs are great companions for the elderly, and others are not. When you are looking to adopt, it’s important to know if the pet you are looking for will fit into your family well.

If you’re in the process of perusing, The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland offers a list of furry friends to check out at your leisure that are updated daily.

A puppy is going to require ample amount of work and training. Is your family in a season of life where you have the time to invest in a puppy who needs almost 24/7 attention? Adult dogs are likely already trained which can be a benefit to families who are busy. However, adult dogs can come with other baggage such as separation anxiety, fears, and bad habits.

Anxiety in dogs is a very common problem that many owners wouldn’t necessarily anticipate when taking home a new pup. In a recent study, 72.5% of the dogs displayed some signs of anxiety. One of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs is abandonment or separation, loud noises, strange people, other pets, and overstimulation may further escalate anxiety.

It’s important to think through the options and what will work for your family. Know the history of the dog and learn as much as you can about them before adopting.

Preparing Your Home

Before you bring your new dog home, it’s important to make sure your home is ready for the dog. As with anything else, dogs cost money. Thankfully, there are options out there to help with pet expenses like our pet loan. Your dog will need a place to rest, to get his energy out, to eat, and to feel comfortable. This can look different for each dog, but it comes at a cost so prepare a budget and stick to it.

Purchase Supplies

Your dog needs supplies just like every other member of your family. Some of the necessary items to purchase include:

· Food and water bowls

· Collar

· Leash

· Dog tag

· Dog bed

· Crate

· Toys

· Treats

· Vaccines, medicine and routine veterinarian visits

Dog Training

If you decide to adopt a puppy, you will likely consider crate training. If you decide not to use a crate, you will be training your dog to go to their space for rest and alone time. For behavior training, there are puppy training and dog training courses offered at different pet stores and adoption agencies. The training is worth it as it saves you some unnecessary headaches. No matter the stage that your dog is in, a basic obedience class for the first weeks of ownership are helpful for both your pet and you.

Find a Vet

You might think you don’t need a vet right away unless something were to happen. But it’s important to have a vet lined up before adopting. Some adoption agencies require your vet’s information before you can adopt. You can ask people you know or do a simple online search for veterinarians in your area.

Once you find a vet, he or she can offer his expertise on issues such as diet and exercise for your dog as well as any other supplies you might need. Our pet loan is especially beneficial when it comes to vet bills. The average cost to caring for a pet is between $800-$1500, and that doesn’t include surgeries. They are worth the investment, and we want to make that investment a little easier for you.

Bring Your Dog Home

Don’t be surprised if your dog goes through an adjustment period. It’s a new home for your dog, and it will need to learn a whole new rhythm. Just make sure your home is ready for him, and he has his own space and understands the boundaries right away.

The happiness of our dogs is incredibly important to us. Adopting and providing a safe space for your dog can greatly improve their quality of life.

If you need help reaching your financial goals to make you and your pet's life better, contact us!

View all articles