Traveling Dog Lady: Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment

Friday, February 21, 2014

Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment

I wrote this for this month's DoggyWoof blog, but I'm unable to get a-hold of anyone over there, and I noticed my article from last month was the most recent one they published (there are several people who blog for them) so I don't know what's going on with the DoggyWoof blog.  This was supposed to go live on Feb 11th.  So I'm just going to post it here on my own blog instead.

Shelters, rescues and the internet are overwhelmed lately with animals who were abandoned or surrendered by their owners.
Dogs are generally given up on at two points in their lives by their human adopters:  during puppyhood from ages 18 months to three years; and during their senior years.
Raising a puppy is hard.  Caring for a senior dog is hard. In the end, the reward for each definitely outweighs the difficulties.
When considering dog adoption, remember that it's a commitment for the lifetime of that pet.  If you adopt, you agree to take care of the dog for the rest of its life.  This is not a temporary assignment.  If you envision yourself going through life changes that will cause you to "get rid of" the dog at some point, then owning a dog is not for you.  It's that simple.
The majority of dogs in shelters right now are young males between the ages of 18 months and three years -- the very time when they should be being socialized and trained.
But senior dogs may have it the hardest. Given up on when they are old, infirm and set in their ways, it can be extremely confusing for an elderly dog to suddenly be without its family and familiar, loving home.
Be prepared for the hard work, the expense, the huge challenges of dog parenting; and then be prepared for something else: the reward of unconditional love and experience that comes from sharing your life with a canine companion.
Don't be "that guy"!  Adopt a pet for life.  If you can't make that commitment, consider volunteering, fostering, or dog-sitting as an alternative.  That way you get the joys of canine companionship, without the huge commitment.

Raising a puppy is hard. Caring for a senior dog is hard. In the end, the reward for each definitely outweighs the difficulties. 


  1. I wrote this for "DoggyWoof" which is a dog-only blog. But this same message applies to cats as well! Thank you :)

  2. The same applies to cats as well. Remember that they live appromixately twice as long as a dog, so generally you can expect to commit up to 20 years or more. Fostering a cat or a dog is a great way to help a shelter for many reasons. They tend to be overcrowded, so if you help care for a sick animal or one that may need extra social skills, everyone can benefit.


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