Updated December 3, 2021 . AmFam Team
Dogs hold a special place in our hearts — they’re faithful companions and are there when you need them most. And adopting a pet is just as good for you as it is for the furry friend you’ll be bringing into your life! But before committing to adding another member to your family, there’s a lot to consider first.
Take a look at these go-to tips about adopting a pet to make sure you’re prepared to bring the dog home.
It’s going to take time to be ready for the day your pet comes home. Here’s some great tips to keep in mind:
First and foremost: you’ve got to be all in. If you’re thinking about a dog, are you willing to get out and walk it in any weather? If your answer is anything short of yes, you should take more time to consider adopting.
Will you and your family be a good match for the animal? Understanding how the breed typically behaves will prepare you for knowing what to expect at home. Get online and do some research. Consider allergies and dander of the breed. Then go spend some time with this kind of dog and make sure you’re on board with the energy level and needs before you commit.
Now that you know what kind of dog you’ll be getting, it’s a good idea to call your homeowners insurance agent and let them know the type and breed you’re considering. Because certain kinds of dogs are not insurable, you’ll have to know if the canine will be covered before you buy. At American Family Insurance, homeowners policies provide financial protection against liability claims, including lawsuits for accidental bodily injury or damage to someone’s property. Your agent will help you (Opens in a new tab) understand the full details of your policy and how pets are covered. Still have questions? Check out more helpful information on homeowners insurance and dogs.
Parents of new pets have a lot in common with expectant moms and dads. They’re busy finding ways to make their place safer and you should be, too! Take a look at these tips to be sure you’re ready for the arrival of that furry friend.
Get down to floor level and think about how a curious animal might explore your place — consider this babyproofing for your pet. Chemicals and plants that are dangerous to animals should be moved out of reach. Have a plan on storing shoes, backpacks, food and garbage cans away from your new family member.
Make an appointment with a veterinarian and learn about the breed you’ve chosen. Are there specific health issues or emotional concerns that you should be aware of before you take the leap? The clinic will also be able to quote you on the costs of shots and spaying or neutering.
If you’ve got a back yard for your dog, verify that fencing or other barriers are secure and consistent across the area.
Look for online reviews and request references from trainers that make your shortlist. They’ll help you anticipate your dog’s behavior and provide helpful training.
Your pet may need to be trained to do its business outside, and there will likely be mistakes along the way. Be prepared for carpet stains and have a thorough clean-up plan in place.
Be sure to get a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip for your dog. If it’s ever lost, the RFID can be scanned to return your fur baby.
Having a pet is like adding another family member! And that costs money. Get your numbers down on paper to estimate how much you’ll be paying. Purchasing costs and licensing fees are a good start. Collar, leashes, pet toys and ID tags will be another up-front cost. Age and breed-specific food will be a monthly expense. Estimated vet bills, training expenses and grooming fees should go in there too. If you travel or if you need a sitter while you’re away at work, jot down those costs. Add up those figures and now you’ve got a good idea what this pet will cost you.
Getting pet insurance is an easy way to be prepared in case your pet has a health emergency, and can cost as little as $1 a day.
Also, if you have homeowners insurance with American Family Insurance, we offer a special add-on pet coverage that provides up to $1,000 for veterinarian or final expenses for your dog, cat, fish or bird as a result of a covered loss. Although this coverage is not the same as pet insurance; and will not assist you with normal vet bills if your dog should get sick, this optional add-on pet coverage can offer some financial protection.
Congrats! You’re well on your way to welcoming that new friend into your life. Your new pet will be better cared for because you made an informed decision. As you make preparations for your pet, you may want to take a look at our additional personal umbrella coverage (Opens in a new tab) for more complete financial protection from the unexpected. Your home will be better covered and you’ll love knowing that your investments are safe.
This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.