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Dog Quiz - Are You Ready to Adopt?

woman holding dog

Adopting a dog changes your life (usually for the better)! But it's always best to go in with your eyes open. Have you considered all of areas of your life where adopting a dog will have an impact?

Take a look at some of the topics of this dog quiz to see if you are ready to adopt a dog.

And if you have children, consider these additional questions about kids and dogs.

     
PART 1: TIME

From training, to grooming to doctor visits, can you make the time commitment to care for a new puppy or dog?

Review this portion of the dog quiz to evaluate which situation best describes your life:

A. I have a job that requires long hours and/or frequent travel. My schedule is a bit unpredictable.

One of the joys of having a dog is being able to spend quality time with her. Is it possible that having a dog is just the reason you need to get out of work on time? If you're not sure, why not start out volunteering or sponsoring a dog at an animal sanctuary?

B. I work a typical week and don't travel much. I do have an active social life, so I don't get home at a set time everyday. Dogs, especially puppies, rely on you to set and keep a schedule. Can you share responsibility for dog care with a friend or loved one? Can you arrange for other care (e.g., doggy daycare)?

C. I work a typical 40-hour week, and get home about the same time everyday. I like to go out with friends and family, but these events are usually planned well in advance. Great! Dogs, especially puppies, rely on you to set and keep a schedule. It looks like you could have a new friend eagerly waiting to see you when you get home everyday.

D. I am retired or work from home. Jackpot!(maybe). If your schedule or activities allow you to spend time throughout the day with your new dog or puppy, this is indeed the ideal situation. Dogs love spending time with their people, even if it's just laying at your feet.

PART 2: FINANCES

Let's be honest. While money isn't everything, it makes a difference. And dog care can quickly consume discretionary income. The average adopter spends between $1,000 - $3,000 per year caring for a dog, and this doesn't include unexpected events (like an illness)! Does this fit into your budget?

The finance portion of the dog quiz will help you consider the financial implications of owning a dog:

A. Money is a little tight, but I manage well. I'm able to pay my bills on time, there just isn't always a lot left over for "extras."

In addition to regular dog care costs (e.g., food, city registration, etc.), there can also be many unexpected costs. A swallowed sock, an injured paw, a bee sting; all injuries that could lead to costly medical bills. When you are ready to adopt your dog, make sure to investigate dog health insurance to reduce the impact of unforeseen expenses.

B. Money isn't growing on trees, but I manage my finances well. I can pay my bills, save for retirement and have enough left over for a splurge or two. Great! In additional to regular dog care costs, there can also be many unexpected costs. But you appear to be well-positioned to handle it. You may also want to investigate dog health insurance options to reduce the impact of unforeseen medical expenses.

C. I'm comfortable, but I have to admit sometimes I can't resist a bit of "retail therapy". Be aware that some of your "fun money" may need to be reallocated to cover both regular and unexpected costs for your new best friend. You may also want to investigate dog health insurance options to reduce the impact of unforeseen medical expenses.

 
PART 3: RESPONSIBILITY

How do people typically describe your personality? Are you foot-loose and fancy-free? Studious? A mix? Review the dog quiz questions about responsibility to consider how much you are willing to take on.

How do the people you trust most describe you:

A. You definitely have your act together. All options are clearly thought out and prepared for. You're the one everybody looks to to make things happen.

You may just have what it takes! Dogs are a lot of responsibility and they rely on us humans to meet all of their needs. Being organized and willing to follow through are important keys to success.

B. Pretty trustworthy. You don't have your whole life planned out, but if you say you're going to do something, you do it. Good! Dogs rely on us to meet all their needs. They need someone who is willing to make an effort and follow through on what needs to get done.

C. You like to live by the seat of your pants. Spontaneity is what makes life interesting. We agree that spontaneity can be the spice of life; however, it can be a bit challenging with a new dog. Dogs thrive on structure and rely on us to provide a stable, dependable home life

 
PART 4: ACTIVITY LEVEL

While the amount and intensity of activity a dog needs varies by breed and by individual, most dogs need some sort of physical activity everyday. Is it realistic for you to plan it into your day (or find someone who can)? This section of the dog quiz takes a look at how much you may need to think about your daily activity level before adopting a dog.

Which scenario best describes you:

A. Pretty active. I'm disciplined about doing some sort of activity most days of the week.

Woo! Hoo! Daily exercise is important for a happy and healthy dog. It's also a great way to bond with your new friend. Consider finding activities that you and your dog can enjoy together.

B. Weekend athlete. I don't always have time to exercise during the week, but the weekends are a different story. Are you willing to add a little something to your weekday routine? Exercise is important to for a happy and healthy dog. Dogs who do not get sufficient exercise usually find other ways to get rid of their energy (e.g., digging and chewing). You can also consider a dog walker or doggie daycare to give your new friend an outlet.

C. Homebody. Home is where the heart is, right? There's nothing like curling up on the couch with a good book or to watch a good movie. Most dogs need some level of activity each day. During the dog adoption process, make sure to look for more sedentary breeds and mixes. While some dogs are happy with a romp around the living room, others may need a romp around the neighborhood. You can also consider a dog walker or doggie daycare to give your new friend an outlet for his energy.

 

 

PART 5: HOME PREPARATION

Are you emotionally attached to that gorgeous living room couch? Are you OK with moving pictures and decorations to higher shelves to avoid wagging tails and curious mouths? Does your apartment/condo/community allow dogs? Consider your comfort level with these things as having a dog will likely require a bit of "redecoration."

This question takes into consideration how prepared the inside of your home is. See Part 6 for questions about the exterior of your home.

How would you describe the inside of your home?

A. My home is dog-friendly. There are no wires in site, cleaning products are stored on high shelves, and I don't mind cleaning up if there is an accident or two.

Awesome! A safe home is a great way to start off a new relationship. And there is enough to organize without having to worry about your new dog's safety!
B. My home may not be doggie-proof yet, but I'm willing to do what it takes to make sure my dog is safe. Nice! A safe home is a great way to start of a new relationship. There are lots of resources available to help you think through what you need to do. A good way to start would be to crawl around your home looking for anything a puppy or dog might see when exploring her new home.

C. If doggie proofing is anything like baby-proofing, it sounds like a lot of work. And it sounds like it could be a bit expensive. I need to hear more before making a decision.
We hear ya! Doggie-proofing is a lot of work and can involve some expense. Similar to baby-proofing, one of the first things you need to do is crawl around on all-fours to find and remove anything that could fit into a dog's mouth. If that feels like a bit much right now, you consider volunteering or caring for a neighbor's dog so you can see what it's really like.

 
PART 6: YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND NEIGHBORS

The last section of the dog quiz takes into consideration your immediate neighbors and neighborhood.

Which situation best describes your immediate neighbors?

A. I live in a dog-friendly neighborhood where there are lots of dogs. In fact, I'm more likely to know the name of the dog than the person!

This is an ideal situation. Dogs are a great way to meet and get to know your neighbors. It also looks like your dog will have lots of friends!

B. There are some animals in my neighborhood, but also many people who do not have pets. But everyone seems to get along. This is very common. If you do adopt a dog, make sure you do your part as a responsible owner, cleaning up after your dog and ensuring she doesn't run loose.

C. My neighborhood may not be the most dog-friendly. I don't see a lot of people walking their dogs, and sometimes I hear dogs barking after bedtime.
It may be worth having a conversation with your neighbors to let them know you are sensitive to their needs, and let them know all the steps you'll take as a responsible dog guardian (e.g., keep her on a leash, clean up after her, make sure no excessive barking, etc.)

D. I live in an apartment/condo.

First, make sure your complex allows dogs. Those that do typically require a non-refundable deposit and have rules about the size and number of dogs you can have. Also, make sure to find your nearest park or walking area so you can plan an exercise routine. Finally, pay extra attention doggy-etiquette: control barking, keep her on a leash and clean up after her.

 
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