October is National Adopt a Dog Month, so we thought it would be the perfect time to discuss everything important that goes into adopting and things to consider before making the leap to dog parent.
The first thing to consider is whether or not you’re ready and willing to reconfigure your life to fit the needs of a four-legged family member. Although they’re so cute and cuddly, there are some serious things to consider before adopting. Can you afford unforeseen vet bills? Does your work schedule allow for time to be home and feed the dog? We talked to Allie Butler, who works at KC Pet Project, and she shared with us that most full grown trained dogs can go without a bathroom break for up to 8 hours. Puppies, however, should go no more than 2-3 hours.
Allie also told us about the “Rule of Three’s” that most shelters tell prospective adopters to remember when considering taking in a new animal.
- 3 Days – The first 3 days of transitioning into a new home will be the most overwhelming for any animal. Just like people, all dogs have their own personalities and may react to this stress differently. Some may seem scared and timid. Some may show more aggression than what was expected. Allie says to remember how scared we’d be if we were brought into a new home with people we didn’t know – especially when we don’t always know the backgrounds of these pups or what they’ve been through.
- 3 Weeks – After the first 3 weeks is when most dogs will have fully come out of his or her shell. Although this is typically a good thing, Allie told us this can also be around the time behavior problems arise. For some dogs, their level of comfort will also mean they can have more energy, more of an attitude or seem to lose some of the respect they may have showed at the beginning.
- 3 Months – After spending 3 months with your new pet, they will have fully adjusted to their space, their role within the home and should be showing you their real selves. Allie stressed that this rule of 3’s is important because so many people don’t give their adopted family members a fair chance.
It’s important to remember that, just like people, all animals have their own personalities and will adjust at their own pace.
Now is a good time to adopt a pet so that it has time to acclimate to your household routine before the holidays. Many people think the holidays are a wonderful time to adopt a pet, but sometimes that adds additional stress to the adoption procedure.