Adopt a Small Dog by Rob Evans |Published 08-04-2020
Bringing a dog into your life can be one of the best decisions you make. They bring a level of constant companionship that is hard to find anywhere else. Plus, if you rescue a dog from a shelter, you’re changing their life as well. You’re doing your part to make someone else’s life a little better!
But, adopting any dog is a considerable commitment, including small dogs. While smaller dogs do not take up as much room as larger dogs and often don’t have significant exercise requirements, they’re still living creatures that require care and training.
Small dogs can be a blessing - if you’re ready for one. Adopting a dog at the wrong time can be anxiety-inducing and create significant hardships for both you and your pet.
If you’re considering adopting a small dog, here are a few signs that you’re genuinely ready:
Dogs take up a significant amount of time, especially in the beginning. Your new pet will need to be taught the rules of your house, house-trained, and introduced to your family members.
This can be a long, multi-step process. It takes months to train a dog. If you have other pets, you’ll have to make adjustments in your living space and routine until your pets are assimilated together. You may need to take them on separate walks or feed them at different times.
Even if you adopt an adult dog from the shelter, you will still need to train them. They might be house-trained in general, but they’ll need to learn how to ask you to go out and what door to go to. Most dogs have accidents in their new home, even if they were completely house-trained before.
As far as commands go, you’ll need to re-train your pooch on even the basics. Most dogs “forget” what they’ve learned when adopted into a new home. They may not be used to how you ask them to “sit” and likely need a refresher.
Even after the beginning stages of training, though, dogs will need a significant amount of your time. Every breed has exercise requirements, even those that prefer to lounge around all day. Some smarter pups also need some mental stimulation, or they may try to make their own fun - which is often the last thing you want.
You should carefully consider your life situation before adopting a dog. Do you have enough time to dedicate to your new pet? Do you expect to have enough time for the foreseeable future?
If the answer is yes, it’s a sign you may be ready for a small dog.
Pets cost money. While we’d love to adopt every cute pet we see, most of us don’t have enough money to feed them all!
Small dogs do not eat very much. However, feeding them an appropriate, high-quality food can be expensive. Low-quality food just won’t cut it for most dogs.
Even the smallest Chihuahua needs food made of real meat and free of fillers. Will you have enough income to cover the cost of food for your dog? Thankfully for your small dog, you have a lot of great options to choose from when it comes to dog food.
You should also consider whether you could purchase specialty food if your pooch needed it. Some dogs develop health problems that make a veterinary diet necessary. Others may have severe food allergies and may need to avoid certain ingredients.
On top of food, dogs also need other items, like toys and beds. You don’t realize just how much you’ll need until you go out and start making purchases. It can add up fast!
If you have a decent amount of extra money each month, you may be ready to adopt a small dog.
You probably aren’t the only one living in your home. While you might be ready for a dog, the other members in your household might not be. For a dog adoption to work out, everyone needs to be on the same page regarding your new pet.
This includes agreeing on the type of dog to get. Everyone needs to recognize that a small dog is the right choice before you rush out and adopt one. If everyone isn’t on the same page, it could lead to toxic feelings down the line.
Children in your household should also be ready for the new pet. We doubt many children are going to complain about you adopting a small dog.
However, that doesn’t mean your children are mature enough to live in the same home as a small dog. Tiny dogs can be easily injured by a too-rough child, even if the kid is entirely innocent with his or her intentions.
Can your children control themselves around a new dog? Do they understand what a dog can and cannot do? Do they know that you cannot dress and position a dog like a doll?
If your children have not been around many dogs, you should introduce them to a few before adopting one. You may discover that one of your children is scared of dogs, or perhaps one is a bit too excited around canines or even allergic to them. Figuring this out beforehand can save you significant headaches down the line.
If you’ve answered positively on all of our questions, you may be ready to invite a small dog into your life!
If you’re hung up in some of the areas we discussed, there is no need to fret. Just because you aren’t ready for a dog now doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to adopt one. You may just need to wait for your financial situation to change or for your children to mature a bit.
Whatever the case is, waiting for the right time is absolutely worth it!
Rob Evans lives in the NY area with his dogs, Petey and Mikey. When he's not petting or playing games with them, he spends his day writing science and experience-based how-to articles and recommending the best products for dogs over at his website, Doggypedia.