Dogs make wonderful companions and additions to the family, but they are not all fun and games. They require immense dedication to train and take care of. The decision to welcome a four-legged friend into your home should not be taken lightly. To make sure that you are ready to take this step in your life ask yourself these questions first:
1. Do I Have Enough Time?
Dogs need love and affection just like any other living being, and some need loads of exercise.
If you have an extremely demanding work schedule that only allows you to be home a couple hours a day, then this may not be the best point in your life to welcome in man’s best friend. This is especially true if you would like to get a puppy because they demand even more attention than an older dog since they still need to be potty trained and behavior trained.
Furthermore, some breeds need more attention and exercise than other, so it is prudent to do some research on which type may fit into your life and your schedule best.
2. Am I Financially Stable?
Buying food, toys, leashes, collars, grooming tools, and other daily necessities for any pet will start to add up quickly. If you are barely getting by only having to make purchases for yourself, then adding a dog to the mix can create an immense strain. Not to mention the fact that dogs are unpredictable and vet bills can be astronomical. It is extremely important that you are in the right place financially before you decide to get a dog.
3. Am I Willing to Make a Long-Lasting Commitment?
Dogs aren’t around for a mere week or two. Some breeds can live up to 20 years or more. Even shorter-lived breeds still usually live 8-12 years. You need to make sure that you are ready and able to take care of them for the entirety of their lives.
4. What Support Do I Have?
Dogs are difficult, and you may not always be able to take care of everything on your own. If you have to go to a business conference out of state for a week and the hotel does not allow pets (as is the case for many) do you have any friends or family that would be willing to watch your dog? Or would you have to employ someone to watch your pet or bring them to a kennel, in which case can you afford to do that?
5. Why Do I Want a Dog?
Too many people get a dog because they think puppies are adorable and then grow tired of the work involved once the novelty wears off. Many people will even take older dogs back to the pound simply because they are no longer puppies. Make sure you want to get a dog for the right reasons and are dedicated to its care and well-being throughout its life. Dogs are living creatures that deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
These questions are not meant to dissuade you from adopting a dog. In fact, quite the opposite, they are meant to help you evaluate your current situation in life and make sure that adding a dog to the mix is feasible and beneficial for all involved. Thinking these questions over will help to ensure that you do not acquire a dog at a time that results in a bad experience for either you or the animal.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you do not have to know all the answers to everything dog-related before you get one. You just need to be willing and able to learn and put the effort into being the best dog parent you can possibly be. There is so much information online that will help you to raise your pet, from videos on Youtube to articles on many different sites. You are sure to find a plethora of helpful information if you take the time to look and hopefully this article provided you with a great start.