Adding a dog to your family will bring not only a lot of joy and laughter into your life but also quite a bit of responsibility. Not to mention, there are demands that most pet organizations expect from their potential adopters. If you believe you are ready to take on a furry friend and are unsure what expectations you will have to meet, keep reading. Here are a few of the requirements to consider before you take in a new addition.

Steady Income

Your financial situation is a huge consideration to keep in mind as you decide if pet ownership is the right choice for you. Many fosters will ask you about your employment and how long you have been there to confirm your ability to care for a pet in the long run. It may be a good idea to go through last month's online pay stub to ensure you have enough room in your budget to pay for vet bills, food and boarding. The last thing you want is for a new dog to add to any financial stress you are already trying to get under control. While giving a home to a pet in need may seem like a good thing to do, it is even more responsible to do it when the time is right for you. The cost of owning a dog may be steeper than you think.

Previous Pet Experience

Animals that come from a difficult background can be a challenge, especially in the beginning. It is a good idea to have previous pet experience if you want to make the best home for a dog that has been abused. This is even more true is you are taking in a dog that is past the puppy stage. Organizations that help match pets with their forever homes will almost always ask if you have owned a pet previously and whether they lived inside and out. They may also inquire about your thoughts on crate training and other methods of providing a routine for your pets. Some animals need a more experienced owner, so don't be alarmed by getting asked many questions. Most animal foster parents are volunteers and just want to find the right match.

Vet References

If you have the financial ability to provide for an adoptive dog and have taken care of animals in the past, the next step would be to check vet references to verify responsible pet ownership. Your vet should be able to speak on your behalf if you have stayed on top of yearly exams and medications, and this will easily make your application stand out among the rest. If you have other pets at home, be sure you let the adoption organization know so you can do a trial run with both animals to check compatibility.

A Backyard

If your dream pet is one that needs a lot of exercise, you should be aware of the responsibility that comes with keeping your new dog busy. Pet adoption agencies would have a hard time letting a high energy breed go to a home that doesn't have a yard for them to roam and play. That said, your living situation is a vital aspect that will be taken into deliberation before your adoption application is approved. In most cases, you will also need to provide proof of pet allowance and deposit from your landlord if you are a renter. Not to worry, just because you don't have a backyard doesn't mean you won't be a fantastic pet owner, but it could limit what breed and size of the pet will be the best fit.

It is always in yours and the dog's best interest to think long and hard before you adopt a pet. You may even consider doing a two-week trial run to help make your decision. The good news is, with the tips above, you will know what requirements are expected of you before you bring home a dog.