You shouldn’t fear the responsibilities that come with your first dog, but you do need to consider a few things before you get your new pet. Many people think it’s perfectly okay to go out and pick up a dog without any prior thought. That’s a mistake you should avoid, and here’s a few considerations that will help you to avoid it.
Do You Know What You’re Getting Into? Did You Do Some Research?
Dogs aren’t all the same, not even a little bit. Different breeds come with different temperaments and methods of care. Some dogs are far more active than others. Some may grow to a size you’re uncomfortable with. It can help a lot if you do some research before you choose a new dog.
You’ll want a breed that can match how you live. If you’re not careful, you can end up with a dog that you struggle to understand and take care of. You’re not doing yourself or the dog any favours by choosing incorrectly.
Do You Have the Time and Money to Train It?
Doing that research should help you figure out a few things. It should let you know a little about what kind of money you may have to spend to take care of your new dog. Make no mistake, a new dog represents an expense. You will have to pay for vet visits, grooming, food, medication, and other expenses.
Research should also clue you in to what kind of time you will have to dedicate to taking care of the dog. This is especially important in the beginning when you need time to train and help your dog become more acclimated to its new surroundings. Dog training isn’t a process that happens automatically or immediately, so you will likely want to consider working with a dog trainer. This will come at a cost, but it will help you significantly. Research dog trainers in your area before bringing your pup home.
Are You Even Allowed to Have a Pet? Is Your Neighbourhood Dog-Friendly?
If you live in a flat, or lease your place in any way, you should find out if the property owner has any rules against you owning a dog. Equally, your home insurance may have stipulations concerning certain breeds of dog. Make sure you can own a dog with no issues before picking one.
Also, how will your neighbourhood treat your dog?
- Are there other dogs in the neighbourhood?
- Are there adequate areas for walking your dog?
- Do you have neighbours that would mind you having a dog?
- Is there a vet or animal hospital close by?
Your own household will factor into this as well. For example, is it just you? Who will primarily take responsibility for the dog?
If you’re not the only person who will interact with the dog at home, then you need to get everybody in the house on board. Take their thoughts on the choice into consideration. Your new dog should come into a welcoming home, not one that contains people that may not want it around.
Are You Ready to Become a Dog Owner?
Before you get your first dog, you have to give yourself a real evaluation. Are you ready? Are you the type of person that can truly take care of another living creature? Just like bringing a child into your home, you will have to consider how your new pet will fit into every single aspect of your life.
It’s not a decision you should take lightly. It will require time, sacrifice, and a lot of patience. Do you have a holiday coming up, or some obligation that will keep you away from home frequently? Then maybe it’s not the right time to become a dog owner.
It’s imperative that you think it all through before you commit to dog ownership. Remember your dog represents a living, breathing creature. It has wants and needs. It craves affection and love. That’s what you’re bringing home, and everything that comes with it.