Date: October 1, 2010
DianePomerance, an activist who has owned more than 40 shelter dogs in her lifetime, has written seven books about pets, including Our Rescue Dog Family Album. Pomerance offers the following tips to choose the right pet for your family:
Breed – Check online about the different breeds, their temperament, health and physical characteristics. Find out all you can about the specific animal from shelter workers and volunteers.
Lifestyle – What type of dog would be most compatible with your home and your living situation?
Activity level – Assess the activity level and exercise requirements of the dog you are considering. Are you able to walk your dog several times a day and play with him?
Age – Which is more compatible with your age and lifestyle? Do you want an active puppy that needs attention and training, a middle-aged dog with established behaviors, or an older, less active dog?
Schedule – Do you have enough time for a quality relationship with a dog? Like children, they require attention, companionship, patience and interaction.
Budget – Research the costs in addition to the adoption fee, such as veterinary care including spay/neuter, vaccinations, potential injuries or illness, regular checkups, toys and accessories. Factor in costs of food, pet sitters or boarding while you’re away.
Space – Do you have enough room for a dog to move, eat and sleep comfortably? Are you legally allowed to have a dog in your residential community?
Shelter – Find out as much about the pet shelter as possible. What is its track record for successful adoption of its dogs?