Aside from an overload of cuteness, there are physical benefits for bringing a furry friend into your home. Studies show that those who own pets experience a significant boost in their mental health.
So, who wouldn’t want to get a pet? Well, they’re often a lot of work to take care of. This is especially true when it comes to canine companions.
With certain information in mind, though, you’ll be able to decide whether becoming a dog owner is right for you.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what you need to consider before getting a dog.
Do You Have The Time?
Taking care of a dog is a responsibility that demands more time than many people first expect.
While low-effort pets do exist (such as fish and small birds), dogs are on the other end of the spectrum. You’ll need to dedicate time to walking them, playing with them, taking them to the vet, etc.
It’s not fair to briefly give a dog a home and then drop it off at a shelter because you weren’t aware of the time commitments that dog ownership requires.
Some dogs need more attention than others, so be sure to research the breed you have in mind before making the decision to add one to your family.
Also, most dogs need to be trained so they don’t cause damage to your home’s interior or other property. This is another aspect of owning a dog that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
If you’re looking to save time on training your pet, consider getting a dog that’s already been properly trained for most situations. You can learn more here about trained dogs for sale.
Do You Have The Finances?
In addition to requiring a healthy amount of your spare time, owning a dog can also cost a significant amount of money.
Recurring expenses — like food, toys, and any medication your dog needs — can add up over time. Additionally, not every landlord allows tenants to own a dog without first paying a fee (which is often hundreds of dollars).
Let’s not forget about the cost of the dog itself!
While adopting a dog is often inexpensive, buying one from a breeder (or purchasing a rare breed) can cost thousands of dollars in certain cases.
Just like with any other purchase, though, it’s important to shop around before you buy.
If money is particularly tight, ask your friends, family, or coworkers if they know anyone who needs to find a home for their dog.
One thing you should never skimp out on, though, is visits to the vet. Dogs need to see a medical professional just like people do, and forgoing exams or pet insurance could leave your animal with health complications down the road.
Be Prepared to Puppy-Proof Your Home
It’s one thing to adopt a five-year-old dog that’s used to living in a house or an apartment. It’s an entirely different ordeal to raise a puppy in your home.
While puppies are sources of boundless joy for everyone who comes in contact with one, they’re often notorious for causing trouble.
There’s simply no getting around it: Puppies are going to chew on things. And, there are no limits to what they’ll gnaw at.
Chew toys and bones may keep their attention for a while, but you can’t guarantee there won’t come a day where your favorite couch, chair, or pillow ends up torn or covered in teeth marks.
So, before you bring a puppy into your home, you’ll want to go out of your way to protect the possessions you care about. This means knowing their location at all times and securing them when nobody’s home.
Usually, a firm “no” (and maybe even brief use of a squirt bottle) is enough to curb their behavior.
It’s also important to keep in mind that this type of destructive behavior may stem from anxiety or boredom. So, if it’s ongoing, the problem likely stems from something other than your puppy’s age.
Choose A Dog That Complements Your Personality
As previously mentioned, different dog breeds require different levels of attention.
Some dogs are high-energy animals that need to be constantly walked or have enough space outdoors to roam around. Other dogs are relatively needy and require constant attention.
Then, of course, you have dogs that can be aggressive (and even dangerous) under certain circumstances, which is important to keep in mind during walks, when guests come over, and visits to the dog park.
So, both you and your dog will be happiest if you choose one you have synergy with.
For example, let’s assume you like to frequently go on hikes and runs. You’ll likely want a strong, athletic dog, like a husky or border collie.
If you’d rather lounge around with your pet after you get home from work (or need to choose a dog that works well with kids), an affectionate breed, like a labrador or beagle, would be a perfect choice.
Can You Handle Getting a Dog?
The choice can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about getting a dog in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making the decision that’s best for you.
Have a story about how you found the perfect dog for your home? Feel free to leave a comment below and tell us all about it!