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Are You Ready for a Dog?

Much time, thought and research should go into your decision – after all, your dog will be living with you for the next 10-20 years.
Please think carefully about the following:

Food costs

Feeding dogs, especially large breeds, can really add up. Have you considered your budget? Good quality food costs more, but is well worth it.


You’ll need to teach your puppy or new dog how to behave within the rules of your household. Are you prepared for this?

Medical emergencies

From an ear infection to a traumatic injury, all vet visits cost money. Have you researched prices? Are you prepared to have a cash reserve on hand for emergencies?

Regular vet visits

All dogs require yearly vaccines, heartworm medication and health exams. Certain breeds are also predisposed to certain medical problems (i.e. German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia).

Daily exercise

Are you willing to provide adequate exercise? Some breeds require more exercise than others and may act out if they aren’t getting enough.


Size and energy level are determining factors in choosing the right dog for you. But please note, the WHS is no longer trying to guess the breed mix of dogs available for adoption. Click here to learn more. 

Proper shelter

Where will your pet live: indoors or outdoors? Outdoor dogs require an insulated, raised shelter suitable for his or her size with year-round access to food and water. All dogs fair better in fenced areas or dog runs. Remember, dogs do not belong on chains – this leaves them prone to attacks by other dogs and increases the likelihood of aggressive behaviour.

Temperament and Size

Much like people, dogs temperaments may vary. Some are energetic and others are calm. While size may factor in to your expectations and lifestyle, it is best to meet any dog you are considering and determine if their temperament and size meets the needs of your home


Some dogs require daily brushing, others only once a week. Some require regular clipping. How much time and money (if you opt for a groomer) can you devote to ensuring your new dog is clean and free of mats?

Work hours

A new puppy will not be able to hold his bladder or bowels for 10 hours. Do you have someone who can let him out while you’re at work, until he gains bladder control?


Dogs are social animals that need daily human contact. Have you done the research to match up your lifestyle with the dog you want? Your decision cannot be made based on appearances alone. Certain dogs have certain needs. Can you meet them?


When it comes to dogs, age is just a number. While a puppy might be good for people who have extra time to train, and an older dog might be calmer and need less walks, there is no guarantee of temperament based on age. Believe it or not, there are old dogs who have lots of energy and young dogs who might be calm. It’s best to meet any dog you are considering to see if they are the right fit for your home.

Family considerations

It’s important to consider  your family before adopting a dog. Do you have young children? It will be important to teach your child the proper way to handle and care for a pet. There are numerous books available to teach your children how to safely interact with dogs. The book Tails Are Not For Pulling is an excellent resource for toddlers.

Adoptable dogs

Review our adoption process and fees.
We can help find the right dog for you. Call our Adoptions Department at 204-982-2035.