For a dog adoption to be successful you must be realistic in your expectations about both the animal and yourself. You’ll have better results if you consider these suggestions before making a final decision about adopting a pet.

First, think about what you expect from the dog you want to adopt. The role he will play in your life is one factor: are you looking for a dog who will guard your home and family, one who will be your buddy, or a dog who will get along well with your children and other pets in your home? When you have the answers to these kinds of questions, it will help you to decide on the dog that is best for you.

You also need to know the expectations you have regarding your new pet’s personality, temperament, and character. Are you looking for a dog who has an animated personality and is very active, or a dog who is calm and quiet? These factors should greatly influence the kind of dog you should adopt.

As expectations are a two-way street, you also need to think about what you can offer to your new pet. You may have an abundance of free time to spend with your dog, or a busy schedule where the amount of time you can devote to your dog will be rather limited. Although all dogs need their owners’ time, some are more demanding than others. This includes time to play and exercise, and time which you must put into your dog’s upkeep. The dog you choose should fit into your lifestyle without many adjustments on either his part or yours.

The lifestyle factor is highly relevant to your family, also. For example, which family member will be taking care of the dog on a regular basis? Will the new dog be the family’s pet, or primarily one person’s special pet? The responsibilities for his care should be discussed and agreed upon before you adopt him. Giving a new pet to a child is often seen as a good way for youngsters to learn about responsibility. However, whether your child is a toddler or a teen, it is probably unwise to give him full responsibility for his new pet.

Although developing a sense of responsibility, and developing a relationship with a dog can both be good experiences for children, too much emphasis on responsibility may lead to him resenting his dog and not taking proper care of him. It is important to be reasonable with how much you can expect from the child. The child can be the primary caregiver, but the parent must accept ultimate responsibility for any caretaking elements the child overlooks or ignores.

Who will care for the new dog during the day while you and your family are at work or school? Does your family take frequent vacations? Do you often go away on business trips? Is the teenager you’re getting the dog for planning to go off to college soon? These factors all need to be considered. Whether you plan to take your dog with you on vacation or leave him behind when you travel, making decisions in advance about how he will fit into your lifestyle can save time, frustration, and money later on.

The financial obligations of a dog are important factors as well. Veterinarian bills, dog food, and other routine parts of dog maintenance should be thought through well in advance of adopting a dog. The upkeep and maintenance of some dogs is more costly than for others. You must know that you can easily afford him. You would not want a high-maintenance dog if you are on a limited budget, nor would you want unforeseen expenses after you have adopted him and brought him home.

A successful adoption requires that you are reasonable about your expectations. You need to know what you expect from the dog, and what he can reasonably expect from you. When you put a little time into thinking about these factors before you adopt a dog, you will be more likely to be completely satisfied with the dog you choose.

If your new pet will be living with your entire family, devoting some time into discussing these subjects with your family will be beneficial to everyone concerned. It will reduce the chance of unpleasant surprises and result in the adoption being a positive experience for your new pet and every member of your household. He will truly be a welcome addition to your family.