Washington, DC (WUSA9) — October is Adopt a Dog Month. Many cute pups recently rescued from Hurricane Florence have been brought to our area, and are in need of a forever home. Before taking the plunge, check out this advice from Friendship Hospital for Animals.

  1. Consider your schedule. If you work long hours, a puppy who requires training may not be the best choice. Older dogs are typically lower maintenance and would make a better fit. Remember senior dogs need good homes too.
  2. Get Insurance. Many veterinary hospitals offer wellness plans. These spread out the costs of certain vaccines and diagnostics. Pet insurance also now covers more advanced procedures such as dialysis and MRI's.
  3. Factor in your living space. Homes in this area are often on the smaller side. If you live in a cramped apartment, that Great Dane may not be the best option. But there are certain breeds that are perfectly happy in smaller spaces. Most dogs in rescue shelters are mixed breeds, so consider all the traits.
  4. Get all house members are on board. Whether you have kids or roommates, everyone in the home will end up caring for your new dog at some point. Make sure everyone knows where the necessary supplies are, and when to take the dog for a walk. If you already have other pets, introduce them to each other while they're on leashes and with treats for positive reinforcement.
  5. Be patient. You can do hours of research, but the true personality of your newly adopted dog may not be apparent right away. Both the pet and owner need to adjust to each other, and the dog needs time to get to know his or her surroundings.

This article is sponsored by Friendship Hospital for Animals.

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