I’ve Inherited a Dog – Now What?

Old and new dog owners and your pet’s well-being

Life is fairly unpredictable, but our dogs have always been dependable, which is why we have them. But sometimes we just have to go with no questions asked while leaving friends, family, and even pets behind. And since everybody believes everybody could definitely use a friend, sometimes we find ourselves with an extra four-legged companion in our lives. The growing trend of leaving pets, especially dogs, has raised questions about what life changes happen when you’ve just inherited a dog.

So what now? You may be thinking about how you didn’t plan to have a dog and what makes things even more difficult is that you have little knowledge and opportunity to provide the proper home for a new companion.

Living in locations such as an apartment can definitely raise a lot of questions. You may have to suddenly arrange to pay a pet deposit or you may not even be able to have a dog in your apartment. These types of situations can really turn what was likely the best of intentions into a big problem.

The challenges

Aside from being able to provide a home in general, there is also the concern about the quality of your home and the changes that will likely take place now that you have a new companion in your life.

The first task is finding room for them or at least making room for them. Keep in mind that your new friend was already trained and has developed a unique pattern of habits they are accustomed to. Not every dog will behave identically or rely on the same schedule. If you are unfamiliar with how the dog acted in their previous home, you’ll want to limit their wandering territory and space until you get a feel for how they are going to act in the new environment.

If you are new to being a dog owner, you’ll need to understand the importance of feeding them and keeping up with similar health responsibilities such as who their vet is and medical information. It often helps to have a discussion with the vet as to the health and characteristics of the dog, especially if it’s likely that they know more about them than you.

Another topic covers the importance of understanding the costs of a pet. Food, medical bills, and the time needed to care for your dog will all change your life economically. You may have to compensate financially or rearrange your schedule to adjust to your new companion’s needs and demands for attention. Many non-expectant dog owners will likely have work related contradictions that make certain tasks such as feeding and letting them out to potty a difficult thing to manage. There are plenty of companies that appeal to the time-budgeted owner, some of which design self-replenishing dog food dispensers and others that dispense fresh water. There is also the concept of grass litter boxes which are inexpensive and easy to maintain. This type of solution is ideal for a new dog owner that is still adjusting to their new way of life.

Passing on your companion

So, what about those who plan on passing their dog to another when they themselves pass? You must always be ready to discuss inheritances like your dog with those that are willing to take on the task of watching over your faithful companion. You don’t want your dog to become a burden on someone who isn’t able to properly provide essential care or tend to the well-being of your pet. Take the time to talk to potential candidates before you make such a decision that may leave your dog and a future owner in an unwanted predicament.

You can also consider giving your dog to someone who is specifically searching for a dog. Sites such as Petfinder.com can help you find a quality future home for your pet in the case you can no longer take care of them. While it can be a little more difficult to plan out, it can provide your dog with a good home and an owner that desires the companionship instead of trying to leave your dog with an unwilling owner.

Handling an unexpected addition to your life just adds to the factors of unpredictability. It might be unexpected, but most often is not unwanted. It’s always a good idea to consult with others to ensure that you leave your faithful companion in the most caring hands. After all, you want your dog to be happy and bring that happiness to someone that wants to inherit such an invaluable friend.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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