What to consider when getting a dog? There are numerous things to think about before bringing a dog into your home. The idea of a cute little puppy can be different from the reality if you are not prepared for the disruption to your lifestyle and routine. Having a dog is a BIG long term commitment.
Getting a dog should be the best decision you ever made, bringing a dog into your life should be a positive experience for all concerned. If you are seriously thinking about it but are still unsure, ask family or friends if you can borrow their dog for the day, take the dog a walk and spend time with it in your home. Looking after a dog for a while is a good method of realising if getting a dog is right for you. There is also the option of short term fostering, this is another way to help with the decision in the longer term. This is also a considerate gesture as there is a big demand for dog foster families.
Research and research
Do your research! Especially if you have never had a dog before. Knowledge of dogs, in general, is a good start, although there are lots of information on being a responsible dog owner available. If you have a particular breed in mind, do your research on that breed. Having an insight into the behaviours, temperament and long term health of a particular breed will help you decide. The breed should suit your lifestyle and household. Don’t rush into getting a dog, take your time and do your homework. Talk to dog owners, dog walkers, and pet shop staff. They will all offer advice from different perspectives. Visit the local dog shelter, spend some time there with the dogs and talk to the staff. They are a great source of knowledge of a variety of breeds, and you will get to visit the dogs. Win-Win.
Click the link below for information on dogs in general.
If you like walking for miles a toy dog is not for you unless you are prepared to carry your dog after a while. On the other hand, if you hate to exercise then a large dog full of energy is not for you. Dogs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, this can take up a lot of your time and energy. To ensure a long and happy relationship ensure the breed and size of dog matches your lifestyle.
Consider your living environment, is there a secure outside space available for a dog? Are there lots of stairs? Does anyone in the household have allergies? Also, be prepared for your home to be messy, smell of wet dog at times, and an abundance of dog hair, EVERYWHERE!
Be aware there will be new noises to get used to as well, with lots of loud barking, whining, and even snoring to contend with. Working full time or being out of the house for long periods of time is not an issue due to the emergence of doggy daycare facilities and dog walkers. These services are plentiful, and although its an additional cost they are a beneficial service to many dog owners. Dog boarding services have changed over time, small dog hotels are an alternative to traditional kennel boarding.
Having a conversation with dog owners and staff at the local rescue shelter about your lifestyle and household should help clarify if getting a dog is the right decision for you.
Having a dog can be costly. Especially if there are health issues. Aside from dog beds, toys, and feeding bowls, there are additional regular costs.
Expect to have regular visits to the vet for routine health checks and some treatments, `every visit and treatment will need to be paid for. Other vet bills can arise too. If the dog becomes unwell or has an accident the costs can rise rapidly. Pet insurance can help with these unexpected large bills for a monthly or annual premium.
Depending on the breed and size of dog can determine a rough guide to feeding costs. Types of food can vary in cost too.
Daycare, dog walking, and regular grooming are services which may be required depending on circumstances and breed of dog. Some breed of dogs have to be groomed every few weeks to prevent matting and skin issues developing.
Training classes are another cost to consider. They are available for dogs of all ages and breeds, they provide a great bonding and socialising experience for you and your dog. A well-trained dog can prevent unexpected costs such as destroying favourite designer shoes!
Patience and love
Whether re-homing an older dog or getting a puppy, there will be a disruption to your life. The dog needs time to settle into the new surroundings, this can be challenging as well as rewarding.
A new puppy will definitely cause some sleepless nights and seemingly never-ending cleaning of poop! Patience in the beginning when you and your new furbuddy are getting to know each other is key. Dogs love to have interaction and attention from their owners, you are your dog’s world. Dogs love to be at their owner’s side, you will more than likely have your dog appear in the bathroom with you! Boredom can lead to destructive behaviour in a dog, give your dog regular playtime and ensure there is time every day for regular walks, exercise, and interaction. Give serious thought to the changes a dog will bring to your life.
- Make sure you really want a dog
- Do your research
- Dog proof your home
- Provide a healthy diet
- Regular trips to the vet
- Train your dog
- Exercise your dog
- Most importantly……. love your dog.
- A dog love is like no other love and they deserve to be loved in return.
Happy furbuddy happy you
Hopefully, after all the above considerations the decision to get a dog is right for you and the dog. With patience, love, and kindness your furbuddy will become your best friend and your most loyal companion. It’s a proven fact the unconditional love we receive from our dogs can have a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being. Being a dog owner can have lots of health benefits. Such as improved fitness and activity, weight loss, and improved mental health. Studies show having a dog can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. Dogs are truly our angels with fur.
I hope reading this article has helped in some way. Feel free to leave comments or photos of your new dog.