There is no greater pleasure than owning a dog. Dogs can be an incredible addition to our families, they enrich our lives and bless us with some of our happiest moments. They are fantastic company, comforts and have a way of filling an emptiness we didn’t even know we had. As they say, “The best therapists have four legs and fur!”.
So, no surprise that you are considering getting your very own dog. Prior to getting your furry friend, you need to make the best decisions. Whether you’re interested in a puppy or an adult rescue, almost every aspect of your life is going to be heavily influenced by the arrival of your new dog. It is crucial to take a look at your lifestyle and ask yourself if you are really prepared to take on such a commitment.
Owners are often so distracted by the cuteness and excitement of a new pet, that they don’t consider the cost and the time and patience required. This can lead to dogs not living the lives that they truly deserve. To ensure you do not make the same mistake, we have gathered some things that you should consider before welcoming a dog into your family. After all, you want to give your dog the very best, right?
As a dog lover, you want your dog to be happy and healthy. Happiness is included in the package but unfortunately, health can cost a small fortune.
First of all, there is the buying or adoption fee. This can be in the $1000s. You have your initial vet visits which is usually in the $100s. Then there are the general dog supplies, also in the $100s. Bills will also rack up with the cost of quality dog food, supplements, yearly shots, monthly preventatives and medical emergencies (these are not rare!). Not to mention professional training too! These can be expensive on any budget. You may have to cut down on things such as family treats, days out, holidays or that gym membership. Can you afford to provide a dog with a lifetime of quality care?
Something else to consider: When adopting a dog, some of the procedures and supplies are included in the adoption fee.
Dogs require much of your time. You will have to free your time for plenty of daily exercise, play, affection and attention. Freeing time may mean, working less hours, sacrificing your ‘me time’ or waking yourself up earlier (your dog will probably wake you anyway)!
Do you already have the time to commit to a dog or are you willing to sacrifice your time?
Introducing a new pup to your home can be a real challenge. Some would consider house training, biting and accidents in the house to be a major inconvenience. You need to be extremely patient whilst training your puppy. You also need to commit to taking your puppy with you to most places so that they can socialize. It takes about a year of patience, before you can expect them to calm down.
Puppies need lots of regular exercise. The world is 10x more exciting to a puppy, so expect your dog walks to be challenging at first. As joyful as dog ownership is, it’s not always a walk in the park (see what we did there?).
Every dog is different and whilst all need time and patience, a senior dog may require less. If they have had a previous owner, they may already understand commands and communications. They are also very cute and loving. That being said, they may require just as much, if not more patience than a puppy, as they are settling into something new.
You must understand that dogs are unique and individual.
Do you have the patience required?
Dogs are perfectly imperfect
Three words- Dogs Like Dirt. Despite our best efforts to stop them rolling in mud (and other things), they almost always find a way to get filthy. It doesn’t stop there. As a dog owner, I can personally tell you to wave goodbye to your spotless house due to muddy paws. You will need to keep them clean and groomed as well as probably cleaning your home more frequently.
Something else to consider: Just like us humans, dogs need a bit of space every so often. Don’t be disheartened if your dog wants some alone time or a little nap. They still love you unconditionally! Many dog owners are disappointed when their new arrival does not want to be with them 24/7.
Home and Family
You must take your home and family into consideration when getting a dog. Do your research on the breeds available to ensure that they are the right fit for you. For example, a Labrador would need a bigger house and garden than a Pug, as well as more food and exercise. If you have young children, an excitable puppy with sharp claws and teeth may not be the right decision.
If you can’t love your dog like a family member, reconsider getting one… they only know how to look at you as a pack member and to them, that is family.
If you have the budget, time, patience, understanding, a suitable home and lots of love- You are on the right tracks to owning a dog.
All of the sacrifice and bills that come with owning a dog is worth it. We wouldn’t change it for a thing.
Do you know someone else who wants a dog? Be sure to share this post!