One of the greatest beings on this planet are dogs (big dogs for me especially); I grew up with those magnificent creatures around me and have the pleasure to share my life with one right now.
And because buying an animal goes against all morals of being a vegan and is absolutely not ethical, I want to talk to you about some important things to think about before adopting a dog.
Way too often we adopt a dog because we feel sorry for him and think that a puppy will stay a puppy, a cute little ball of fur; and when that little sunshine grows up we realize that he is not so simple and easy to maintain after all. And then we do the unforgivable – we take this beautiful being back to the shelter and leave him there to (probably) die.
What did he do to deserve this? Where did he fail us as a human companion and a man’s best friend?
Humans tend to give up so easily on our friends and the saddest part is that we treat animals as toys, as a thing that you can return when it doesn’t fit you anymore or you grow tired of it. A dog is like a baby, it is a being – a being that shall not be returned as an object. A dog is for life!
Before you go to the shelter with the intention to adopt one of these beautiful souls, ask yourself and your family these questions:
- Is this dog wanted and has been wanted for a very long time? If you have decided on having a dog yesterday, it’s probably best if you don’t go running to the shelter right away. A dog is not a toy and you should take a few weeks (even months) to think this through. How sure are you that 10 years from now you will still be able to take care of a dog? Are you planning on moving to another country or travel for a year? With a dog, these things get almost impossible to do so you need to be really sure that you will be able to take care of him.
- Do I have the time to spend with him, especially in the first few months? If you have a full-time job and are thinking of creating a career that will take most of your time, please get a cat or a stuffed bear. Dogs require movement and mental stimulation, they cannot be left alone for hours while you are working.
- Do I have the money to maintain his health and the necessary knowledge? Just as human health is not for free, the same goes for a dog.
- Does everyone in my family agree with this huge responsibility? If you live with people that hate dogs you should definitely rethink your dream of having one while they are around. Do you have someone who will help you take care of him if you have to go to the hospital? What if you break a leg and cannot go for walks, who will be able to help you?
- Am I ready to become a parent for the next 10-20 years? Dogs are not a toy or a magazine that you can just throw away and recycle. They are a living, breathing being that needs your full attention and care. Adopting a dog is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. They will get attached to you and they will love you and consider you a family, just like a human baby would, so you need to be aware that you are becoming a parent not an owner of someone.
- Do I have the space for the dog, where he can live according to his needs and size? A Chihuahua can do great in an apartment, but a German Shepherd needs his own place to run and do his business. Dogs are different and every breed has a manual that will help you decide whether or not your dream dog can be kept in a small apartment. Think about which breed fits your lifestyle not which breed you think looks the prettiest. Unless you are ready to change the way you live for a dog, don’t get one just to have him suffer because he won’t fit your lifestyle, YOU need to fit HIS lifestyle.
If you answered YES to all the questions above, you are most likely ready to adopt a dog and welcome him into your life.
We had two dogs before Chuck (named after Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl) and one of them was treated poorly from our side. His name was Ben (named after Ben Affleck, obviously). We had to give him to an aunt since he was too big for an apartment (half German shepherd, half chow chow) and the neighbours were complaining because has was barking a lot.
No need to mention that we have learned our lesson after that and our next dog was little Miša (Misha) that stayed with us (or rather – she stayed with my mum because we have moved) until she died.
How long have you been thinking of adopting a dog and are you really sure you are ready to do it now?
After answering the questions above, are you still sure you want to do it? Really think about it, it’s a big decision.
Oh, by the way, if you are a new cat parent make sure to read this article. I wrote it for new cat parents that are in need of a few helpful tips from someone that has cats and knows a thing or two.
Make sure you let me know in the comments your message to everyone that wants to know more about how to adopt a dog.
p.s. – If you want a regular dose of cuteness, follow me on Instagram where I share tons of photos of my three cats and our dog Chuck.