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We already discussed certain dog trends late last year, but here’s an insight of what it really means to adopt a dog, along a special interview with Michelle, owner of 3 of our favorite IG dogs – Max, Sienna & Molly.

Although it’s crucial that everyone understands the importance and commitment of welcoming a fluffy pet into your home – read on as we discuss the pros and the cons with Michelle, owner of 3 adopted retrievers from @retrievertails, to help you decide whether your home is paw-proof or not.

Adopting a dog isn’t like buying a new pair of shoes, or getting a new couch for your living room, it’s a huge commitment both for yourself and the dog’s well being.

Space, Time and Money 

Michelle said that both time and research are the two most important steps towards the adoption process. “I see lots of puppies looking for a new home because the previous owners say they don’t have enough time. Time is really important, they really are a part of your family,” she tells us.

As you can imagine, having a pet at home takes time. Don’t think it’s just a bit of time to snuggle up and play, but you’ve also got to think about the 3-4 times a day walks, vet appointments, weekly dog training sessions etc. Dogs need to exercise and they need to keep busy. They won’t stay at home and sleep all day, especially not puppies.

Money means vet appointments, dog food, dog cleaning sessions, collar tags, vacation home fees etc. According to the ASPCA, the total first-year cost of pet ownership can go up to $1,270 a year. Now, if you can barely pay rent and phone bills, then adopting a dog is most likely not for you yet.

Pick The Right Breed

Before you even think about adopting a dog, you need to sit down and talk about what type of dog best fits your family or home. You might not think this is an important step, but it absolutely is. Read a lot of different books such as this one, which best explains what certain breeds need to be the happiest they can be, such as a certain amount of exercise, space, foods etc. Certain dogs such as greyhounds also need certain layering in the winter, due to their very little body fat and will need extra care and warmer environments.

Here’s a quick list of different type of dogs you can get depending on their needs:

Boxers: These dogs are one of the most popular breeds for family homes. They are kind, adapt well to apartment living style but get lonely very easily.

Rottweilers: Sure, at first sight, they might look a bit scary, but Rottweilers are also family friendly dogs and are good guarding dogs. They’re not suitable for city-style living and need a lot of exercises, but are intelligent dogs and are easily trained.

Poodles: Poodles are smaller dogs and adapt well to smaller spaces and apartment living. They are friendly, tolerate warmer temperatures, don’t shed a lot but do need a lot of grooming!

Beagles: Beagles are also family friendly but can be very stubborn and require a lot of patience, especially regarding their training. They need many walks, exercise, and love to play!

Adopt A Dog

As we previously mentioned in our Pug Craze piece, there’s a significant increase in the number of dogs bought from shops, whilst others from shelters are desperately waiting to be picked up. Some of the benefits of adopting dogs from shelters or breeders are endless but the two options are quite different. Michelle adopted her dogs from other families when they were a bit older. This gave the family time to test whether the dogs were happy in their home, and were also given time to meet the dogs and create a bound.

If you decide to go to a shelter, you won’t only save the life of a lovely dog, but it will also free up space for another dog to join the shelter in the hope to be adopted. However, this leaves you with fewer and more restricted options regarding breeds. If you’re really set on a specific breed because of your lifestyle then you have to make sure you research good breeders with certificates, checks and good pedigree. This way you’ll be aware of the dog’s family history as genetics in dogs make a huge difference in their behaviors, whereas adopting a dog in a shelter is a bit more of a risk (especially if you have children in your home).

Make Your Home Dog-Proof

We’ve all heard those sad and horrible stories about dogs chewing on the wrong type of medicine or even foods in their own homes, and believe me, you don’t want that to happen to your own pet. These accidents very often end in life-threatening situations. Not only is it crucial to make your home safe, but you also want to avoid any accident where your dog would chew on important items such as, oh I don’t know, your stack of saved holiday cash or your new Ray-Bans! (this is a true story!).

Baby proofing your house is completely worth it if you look at how much vet bills can add up to if your dog decides to eat your latest wireless pair of headphones. Just make sure there’s nothing laying around which could be dangerous to your pet and cover or hide electrical wires. It’s a known fact that puppies, just like babies, like to touch dangerous and perilous items.

If you adopt a puppy, it’s also worth putting a gate in front of the stairs if you have a house, or in front of rooms, you don’t want the dog to reach rooms with breakable items such as your bedroom, kitchens etc. If your dog is allowed in the kitchen, buy a trashcan that a dog can’t open. Newsflash: dogs love anything that smells like food.

A dog’s life is much shorter than a human’s, so make sure you make theirs worthwhile!

Meet Our Favourite IG Dogs With A Certain Flair For Photography

Michelle is the proud of owner of Max, Sienna, and Molly. She is 22 years old is currently studying Social Work at university. She is from the Netherlands and always finds time between her studies to capture the most beautiful photos of her dogs.

AG: Could you tell us a bit more about the adoption process?

M: My family and I adopted Max, Sienna & Molly when they were already grown up. Sienna was already 9 months old, Max was 6 years old and Molly was 9 years old.

We saw Sienna and Max on an online website where you can put your dogs up for adoption. So we sent an email and called the previous owners. After telling something about our family and getting some information about Sienna we went to see Sienna. We had lots of questions and we had a conversation with her previous owner. We had a little walk and then we knew for sure, we fell in love with Sienna and Sienna went with us back home.

Max came to our house, we had a conversation there and a walk. Also, we needed to see how Sienna would respond to Max, but she was so excited to see Max. Right from the beginning, they loved each other. Well, Max never left! He belongs with us.

I saw Molly on a FaceBook-group where they explained Molly her situation and that’s how we came in contact with her previous owner. Molly came to our house. Again we had lots of questions, we had a nice conversation with her previous owners and we decided that Molly needed to be with us.

AG: How much time would you say that your dogs take and how many times do you have to walk them?

M: Since my dogs are older (they are now 8, 10 and 12 years old) they take less time than before. Max sleeps a lot and doesn’t need long walks anymore. Molly and Sienna are full of energy, so they need more time. But it depends on the day. I walk them an average 4 times a day. Some days more often. We have a huge park close to our house, so they can run/walk off leash and they love it!

AG: What is, in your opinion, the most important question to ask yourself before adopting an adorable puppy?

Find a breeder and take your time to find out which breeder is most reliable. Ask other people about their experiences, take a look at the internet etc. Or maybe you could adopt or rescue an older dog, just like I did and adopted Max, Sienna, and Molly.

AG: We absolutely LOVE your photos and we can really tell you take amazing care of them, what do you do when you go on holiday and can’t take the dogs with you? 

Luckily most of the time my dogs will go with me on a holiday. Last Summer Molly went with me and enjoyed the beach and the sea. She was so happy! That holiday, Max stayed home with my parents who always take really good care of him and Sienna was with my sister.

AG; And finally, could you tell us a bit more about Max, Sienna, and Molly? Do they have very different personalities? 

First of all, Max. He really is a sweet, adorable teddy bear. Max enjoys hugs and cuddles the most. He closes his eyes and you can see he enjoys it. He is a very calm dog, also very relaxed. Now he is getting older, he doesn’t need long walks and he enjoys laying in the grass. He’s a very calm and relaxed dog. Oh, and when I take photos of him, he will fall asleep most of the time!

Then Molly. Molly is a princess, she even walks like a princess. She is super sweet, loves attention and will ask for it! She could be a bit jealous, but never in a bad way. Molly is a bit more excited than the other dogs. She is always happy, always! She sleeps in my room because she really is attached to me.

Sienna, is a forever puppy. Everyone thinks she is still a puppy. She is adorable, very sweet and always happy! Always. She loves attention, and gets along well with other dogs and wouldn’t hurt anything. Sienna has a heart of gold and loves cuddles, walks but also loves to nap (Molly and Max also). She is the sweetest dog!

Follow Michelle here to never miss another photo of Max, Sienna and Molly!

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Images/Sources: Retriever Tails, Money Under 30, Pun Pedia

The 3-color stripes for people that are not into the rainbow trend