There is no doubt about it – dogs make great pets. They are loving, have great personalities, and usually become an integral part of the family very quickly. On the other hand, they can be a lot of work, so you must be 100% sure you are making the right decision before getting one. Here are 3 things to consider before getting a dog.
Who will look after your dog during the day?
If your kids go to school and you work all day, who is going to look after your dog when you are out? Although dogs can be left alone for short periods, they shouldn’t be left all day. Many breeds suffer from separation anxiety and can’t be left alone for longer than an hour or two.
If you need to be out for a good chunk of the day, research the breeds that cope best with being left alone. It’s also important that you hire a dog walker to come and give your dog exercise and toilet relief once or twice a day. If you don’t feel that this would be feasible, then you perhaps need to consider whether a dog is the right pet for you.
Can you afford a dog?
Certain breeds of dog can cost thousands, so if there is one you have your heart set on, do some research and find out if it’s financially viable. Not only can the initial outlay for a dog be hefty, but they also cost a lot to maintain month to month.
Food and grooming equipment can mount up, and vets bills can run into huge sums, particularly if your dog becomes ill or is in an accident. According to Paoli Vetcare, an AAHA accredited Vet & Animal Hospital, core vaccinations for a puppy are around $80 whilst a typical wellness visit can range anywhere from $50 to $400.
Getting a dog without researching the associated costs is one of the main reasons that so many dogs are abandoned or donated to shelters each year. Do your homework and make sure the figures stack up, or you could end up adding to the already rising statistics.
Are you ready for the effort?
As well as lots of love and attention, dogs needs regular exercise. Many larger breeds of dog need to be exercised for a few hours every day to keep their heart and bodies healthy and to ensure that they don’t gain too much weight. If you aren’t the exercising type, opt for a breed that needs minimal exercise.
As well as walking, dogs need regular grooming. Their teeth need to be cleaned, their coats need brushed and clipped, and they need a good diet and lots of general care. Many dog owners have likened getting a puppy to having another child, so you must be prepared to put in the effort.
A dog will make a wonderful addition to your family, but you need to be aware of the responsibility and commitment that goes along with it. Do seriously think about this before you make the life-long commitment as you should treat your dog as a member of the family. You wouldn’t just give a baby up if you didn’t have time or your landlord said no, would you? So don’t do the same for a dog!
Are you thinking about getting a dog but have questions? If you do we’d love to hear them in the comments section below and as a dog owner of over 10 years we’d love to share our tips with you if you’re thinking about becoming a first time dog parent. As always, if you’ve found this article of any value we’d love for you to share it with friends and family, across social media and beyond.