Considering a dog
There are many reasons for wanting a dog, and all of them will have a huge impact on your daily life. Dogs will entertain you, keep you company, enrich your life and likely even improve your mental and physical health, but it's important to remember that, in exchange for all of the richness a dog will add to your life, he or she is going to need your dedicated time and attention.
There are many things to consider before getting a dog, like whether or not you have the time, money, energy, space, desire, patience and lifestyle to make the commitment of being a full-time dog owner.
Learn more about considering a dog.
Choosing the right dog
Dogs come in many shapes, sizes and temperaments. It is important when choosing a dog that you consider the reasons why you want a dog, what activity level you're comfortable engaging in, how often you want to groom your dog, how experienced you are with dogs, how big you want your dog to be once the animal is fully grown, what kind of personality you want your dog to have and whether or not you will need to get a hypoallergenic dog.
Thinking about your needs and having a concrete idea of what kind of qualities you are looking for in a dog will help you decide whether to get a puppy or an adult dog, and which breed or breed mix might be best for you.
Learn more about choosing the right dog.
Finding your dog
You've done your research and decided on the kind of dog you want to get. Now where do you go to find your dog? To ensure that you avoid supporting puppy mills, you can either adopt a dog from a humane society, SPCA, reputable rescue or satellite adoption centre, or you can purchase directly from a responsible, ethical breeder.
Learn more about finding your dog.
Remember, dogs are for life. Think carefully, choose wisely and love deeply!
What to do if you have lost or found a dog:
IF YOU HAVE LOST A DOG
Losing your dog can be devastating. Here are some actions you can immediately take to help you bring your Fido home.
- Immediately check your property and your neighbours' properties – check any place your dog could reasonably hide in.
- Notify your local animal shelters, including animal control and nearby humane societies, rescue groups, dog parks, groomers, doggy day cares and pet stores.
- List your lost pet on www.helpinglostpets.com. Emails and twitter alerts will be sent to all network members in the area.
- Create a poster that you can place in high-traffic areas. Include a photo of your pet and describe his or her distinguishing characteristics. (Note: posters can be printed at www.helpinglostpets.com)
- Get friends and family involved right away. The more ground you cover in the first few hours, the better chance you have of finding your dog.
- Knock on doors.
- Follow your dog’s regular walking route. Try to think of where he or she might go to feel safe.
- Go to your local humane society or SPCA and look for your pet.
- Check websites that have lost/found pet pages. Also, check in the pets for sale section in case someone is trying to sell/find a new home for your pet.
- If you receive a call about a sighting of your dog, confirm the pet’s description and size before you send anyone to search that area.
- If you get a confirmed sighting, have someone go immediately. Dogs can travel a long way in just an hour.
IF YOU HAVE FOUND A DOG
- If a lost/stray dog approaches you, be cautious. Even if he or she seems to be a friendly dog, we would advise that you move slowly, and very gently take hold of the collar or leash.
- If the dog growls or becomes panicked/aggressive, stop what you are doing and stand back.
- If you are able to leash the dog, check for tags and call whatever phone numbers you find on the dog's tags.
- If there is no contact information, notify your local humane society or SPCA or animal control.
- If you are offering food to the dog, place a small amount on the ground.
- Do not look the dog directly in the eye – this may be interpreted as aggression.
- Take the dog to a veterinarian or animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip. This could tell you who the owners are and where they live.
- Microchip your pet, and update your information with the service provider EVERY TIME you change your phone number or address.
- License your pet with your municipality and keep the tag on your pet’s collar/harness at all times.
- Have another ID tag on the dog’s leash in case the collar breaks free or is lost.
- Check tags regularly for wear and tear.