Dogs are one of the world’s most popular pets and for good reason, they’re loyal, lovable, family friendly animals who can easily win your heart. However animal shelters are overrun with unwanted and abandoned dogs who more often than not were purchased by owners who didn’t think through their decision. So if you’re thinking of bringing a dog into your life then make sure that you carefully consider these 5 things before you do so:
5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog
- Do you have the time?
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and they are dependent on you to fulfill their basic needs, therefore it’s unfair to get a dog if you plan on leaving it alone for hours at a time. That’s not to say that you can’t get a dog if you work full time, but you will need to consider the welfare of the animal – could you get a dog walker on the days you work? Or is there someone else in the family who can dog sit for you? If the answer is no and you plan to leave the dog at home for hours on end then it may not be the right time to bring one into your life.
- Do you have the space?
The space you need for your dog will vary depending on the breed you choose, the age of the dog and how often you are able to take it out for walks. It’s unfair to purchase a dog and then keep it couped up in a small apartment with no access to the outside, especially if it’s an active breed. A dog in a confined space will likely develop naughty behaviors to keep it entertained, such as chewing furniture, so be sure to take into consideration whether you have the space that a dog will need.
- Do you have the money?
The initial price of the dog is just one of the many expenses you will incur over the lifetime of your pet. If you are buying a puppy then do you have the money for vaccinations and vet’s bills? Do you have the money for puppy training classes and good quality dog food? As your dog ages do you have the money for any additional veterinary care or to pay for pet insurance?
- What are your future plans?
Before you buy a dog have you carefully thought about the next 10-14 years of your life? A dog can live for many years, and if you are planning to move soon will you ensure you can take your dog with you? Are you planning on starting a family? Dogs are great for children but if you are thinking of bringing a baby into your life will you be able to still offer your dog the care and attention it needs?
- Are you ready for your dog to age?
Did you know that there are joint health supplements for dogs? Everyone loves a puppy, but puppies grow up into dogs and dogs all eventually age. As your dog ages they will need a different level of care, they may need supplements, extra veterinary treatment and will not be able to jump and play in the same way that they used to. A dog is for life, and taking on a young, exciting puppy means committing to caring for and looking after him even if he is old, slow and a little bit smelly.