Blindly going to the animal shelter is never a good idea if you’re not prepared to bring home the puppy you fall in love with. MedVet veterinarian Michael Lane has you covered! Lane, his wife, and two boys recently adopted a golden retriever—Sir Woodford Bibble. Here are factors Lane says you should consider when you have the family meeting to discuss adopting a new pet into your home.
What age of dog should you adopt?
We all love puppies, but they’re a handful at the start. “Puppies are like wild kids—they’re cute as long as someone else has to deal with the mess,” says Lane. “There is no doubt that puppies can bring pure happiness, but they also require tremendous patience, training, and time.” If you’ve had a puppy you know the struggle of potty training. Although there aren’t studies confirming this, Lane says he’s heard that a puppy can hold its bladder for about one hour for every month of age. “For many households, an adult dog may be a better fit.”
What dog breed is best for your home?
Is your family energetic and active? Could you bring along a dog on walks, hikes, and adventures in the backyard? Or are you a low key couple who lives in an apartment or condo without outdoor space? Both situations are conducive to dog ownership, but the breed is something you need to take into consideration. Lane says important home and lifestyle factors include:
- What kind of energy level are you looking for?
- How many hours a day will the dog be home alone?
- Will you be able to pay someone to exercise the dog regularly if you cannot?
- How much time in every day can you devote to the care and training of the dog?
- Can you keep that up for the foreseeable future? Many dogs live well into their teens.
- Are there children in the household?
- How strong is your vacuum?
Research the breed you are considering, and make the decision based on much more than their appearance.
Where will you get your dog from?
There are so many options to choose from: shelters, rescue organizations, online pet finding services, puppy stores, and even Facebook posts. “I find it difficult to recommend any [option] above adoption from a local shelter,” says Lane. “Shelters and shelter workers have dedicated themselves to placing as many animals in happy homes as possible—and it pains me to tell you that I have personally treated countless very ill ‘puppy store’ puppies and that many of those cases ended in heartbreak.”
How to choose a veterinarian for your new dog
Much like human health, you need a trusted veterinarian for wellness and sickness. “This is a stressful decision not unlike finding the right pediatrician for your child,” says Lane. “Much of choosing the right veterinarian for you comes from your instinct. Take note of how you and your pet feel about visiting your veterinarian.”
Visit your veterinarian’s office with or without your pet to observe and ask questions:
- Is the facility clean?
- Is the staff courteous and professional?
- What kind of resources are available in case of an emergency?
Meet MedVet’s Dr. Michael Lane
Michael Lane is a board-certified veterinary internist at MedVet Cincinnati where he has been part of the medical team since 2018. He graduated cumlaude from Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, earning a bachelor of science degree in biology and bachelor of arts degree in Spanish. He continued his education and earned his doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, and after veterinary school went on to complete a yearlong internship in small animal medicine and surgery. He then returned to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine where he completed a three-year internal medicine residency.
Lane enjoys working with colleagues, clients, and referral partners to deliver the best possible medical care to his patients. He has a special interest in minimally invasive procedures, auto-immune disease, and endocrine disease. When not at the hospital, Lane enjoys spending time with his wife Jeanne (medical oncologist at MedVet Cincinnati), two sons (Hunter and Austin), and their recently adopted golden retriever, Woodford.