Before adopting a dog

It is imperative that the whole family is onboard with the decision of adopting a dog. We, as a family, waited for over a decade, to have a dog in our family, since we wanted a dog to spend time with and our previous lifestyle was not conducive to having another living being under our care.

A few things we considered before we decided to adopt a dogĀ are broadly classified as below:

Time, effort, patience

Whether, we had enough time at home, to spend with the dog, keeping in mind our work schedules.

The cooking of food for the dog. These days, you have options of fresh dog food like Hungry Eyes, to handle this part for you, especially, if you are not fond of cooking or handling meat yourselves, at home.

We were clear, either of us were to dedicate the first few weeks, in the house with the dog to allow her or him to get used to their new home & life. We decided it will be better to keep a long adjustment period for the dog and us, since each dog is different and will have had different experiences in its life before us.

During this period, we needed to set the day-to-day routine for the dog in terms of walks, meals, grooming, toilet training within the home, too, and the dog being able to spend a few hours alone in the house.

Lifestyle considerations before adopting a dog

Support system

Building your support system is key while bringing up a dog, just like it would be while bringing up a child. And in reality, the number of people who will volunteer to look after your dog, will be far lesser.

While we were lucky to have had supportive neighbours, to keep an eye on our dog while we are out of home, we also needed to have another individual, whom the dog could trust within their territory. For us, this was our house-help, who herself has dogs at home.

If you have an emergency and are not able to have your dog travel with you, identify a few kennels, friends and family with whom the dog could stay.

While you may not even have a trip planned, it would be a good idea to leave the dog with a few of these humans or kennels, beginning with half a day, then full day and night and slowly for a few nights so that your dog knows you are always coming back to get them.

Financial Stability

Veterinary and medical charges may be high during the initial 3 months, depending on if you are adopting an adult dog or a puppy.

Apart from annual vaccinations which could range from Rs.1500/- to Rs.3000/-.

Neutering or spaying your dog is a key surgery, which hopefully would be your highest medical expense. Cost of neutering or spaying your dog again depends on the hospital you choose to go with, and this could be anywhere between Rs.2500/- to Rs.10,000/-. A one time medical expense and well worth it. Please note, it is not necessary that your dog will be calmer because they got spayed or neutered, it is mainly for their health and safety.

Food also depends on the size of the dog, however, it would start from INR. 2000/- a month, for a meat based fresh and balanced diet. And this is bound to change at various stages of the dog’s life, with you.


The biggest consideration for us before adopting our dog was, providing the dog stability.

If we were to move out of our city or country, are we financially secure to take her/ him along with us?

Once the dog ages, or if for an unfortunate reason, they become unwell, there is no looking back.


As the first steps may seem overwhelming, having a dog in your life is a joy as much as it is a commitment to the dog.

And when in doubt, foster a dog, there are plenty of dog shelters which have a fostering program, wherein, for a specific period of time, depending on the dog’s needs, you, care for a dog, in your own home. A good shelter will always advise you on the dog’s requirement and take you through the process of fostering and support you through this phase.

It’s 4 paws at a time!

First time dog owner? Keep reading!