Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog
Dogs are great, as we are sure you already know!
They are also a long-term commitment, so with the following considerations, you’ll be closer to deciding whether dog ownership is right for you.
The upfront cost of your dog can vary, depending on whether you decide to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder or rescue an older dog. Pedigree puppies in particular are more expensive, plus certain dog breeds such as French Bulldogs, can be predisposed to certain medical conditions, which can lead to pricey vet bills in the long run.
Dogs need a balanced and nutritious diet, suitable for their life stage and lifestyle, so you’ll need to account for this too. And if you plan on going away on holiday, you might require the services of a dog-sitter or kennel. Costs vary, depending on location, how long you’ll be away, and the facilities of the accommodation.
How much space do you have?
Having a small home or apartment without a backyard definitely doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog. Higher-energy dog breeds, however, benefit from their own, enclosed outdoor space. Ensure to do thorough research on which breed would best suit your lifestyle before deciding on your new furry addition and remember that all dogs need to be regularly exercised outside on walks, regardless.
Do you prefer your home to be spotless?
Most dogs shed hair, leave your house marked with muddy pawprints, and welcome you home with slobber. But, don’t a bit of mess put you off just yet…breeds such as Poodles or Maltese dogs are minimal-shedding and minimal-drooling, plus the Topology dog bed can save your home from the aftermath of muddy dog walks. With removable toppers, you can simply zip mud and mess away to give your pet that fresh sheet feeling after a quick clean in the washing machine.
Are you away from home for most of the week?
If everyone in your household works away from home during the week, having a dog probably isn’t the best choice of pet for you. House sitters and dog walkers are always an option, but you should ask yourself how much time you’ll actually be able to spend building a bond with your pet. If it’s a puppy you’re considering, you also need to be mindful that they’ll need someone to let them out to go potty multiple times a day, depending on their age.
With this being said, many offices are now very accommodating with bringing dogs to work, so look into whether this could also be a possibility.
How do other members of your household feel?
Talking of other members of the household, how do they feel about getting a dog? Whether they’re a housemate or partner, bringing a dog home will massively affect their life too, regardless of if you agree the dog will solely be your responsibility. Some people are scared of dogs, others may be allergic or worried about noise and mess. Talk these things through properly before coming to your decision.
Do you have other pets?
An existing dog, cat or other pet might have something to say about you bringing home your new furry friend. If you’ve already got a dog, then it’s important to take their needs into full consideration. Do they get on with other dogs? Are they elderly? Do they become easily irritated? Introduce your existing dog to the dog you’re considering getting before making any final decisions so that you can see how they get on. Even if they do get on swimmingly, boundaries are still important. Dog crates with a cosy dog bed will ensure both pets have their own separate space for when they need chill-out time. The same goes for other pets such as cats and chickens. Create physical boundaries with a chicken run or indoor cat house for example, and always take introductions slow.
Have you spent time with dogs before?
A cute puppy is one thing, someone else’s dog is another. Owning a dog of your own? It’s a whole different ball game. A fun ball game it might be but it’s one that doesn’t come without compromise. Dogs can be demanding and take up a lot of your time and their temperament and age can further affect how much of your time they need. Have a think about how much time and attention you have to give to a dog. If the answer is endless, then you’re one step closer to becoming the dog owner you always dreamed of being!