Picture this: you’re sitting on your couch after work, relaxing after a long day. It’s quiet, and a bit lonely, and you think to yourself, “I should get a dog!” While a great thought, in theory, it’s not that simple. Otherwise, everyone would be up to their neck in puppies. Dogs, while a fun and loving addition to your family, are a lot of work. From bathing, feeding, walking, and training, it can take hours of effort and patience. And not to mention pricey veterinary bills. Though, a dog’s companionship is worth their weight in gold, and can be worth every hour of work you put in. But how do you know for sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment?
You’re in luck, we at DogFriendly have compiled a list of the questions you should ask yourself before adopting or buying a new furry friend.
How much time to do I have to care for a dog?
As mentioned earlier, dogs require lots of hours of work. At a minimum, dogs will require one to two hours of care and attention each day. Though depending on your dog’s age, breed, and coat, this number can change. For example, a Basset Hound requires much less exercise and physical stimulation than a Golden Retriever. And a Yorkshire Terrier will require much more grooming time than a Xoloitzcuintli. And this care doesn’t stop once the dog is no longer a puppy. An average dog’s lifespan is ten to thirteen years, during all of which you need to remain a king, attentive owner. When you ask yourself if you have the time for a dog, it’s essential you be 100% honest with yourself. If you’re unable to give a dog the attention and care it needs, it won’t end up a very happy dog, which can in turn cause more behavioral issues.
Can my living space support a dog?
All dogs require a different amount of space and time outside in order to thrive. Some breeds need a large, fenced-in yard, whereas others can live happily in an apartment or in the city. Though, size is not the only determinant of their stimulation needs. Some terrier breeds need a wide open space to blow off steam, and some mastiff breeds are bigger couch potatoes than most. Understanding a dog’s temperament is essential to finding the right dog for your lifestyle. Also, be sure to check your lease or rental agreement to see if they allow animals in the first place. Bringing home a dog that isn’t allowed to be there in the first place is a recipe for disaster.
Can I financially handle a dog?
Dogs can be expensive. Whether it’s paying a breeder, taking them to the vet, sending them to training classes, etc., the bills can quickly add up. Not to mention the cost of basic supplies like food, toys, and collars. It’s important to ask yourself whether or not you can handle the financial toll of getting a dog because if not, the dog could end up suffering and miserable. Nobody wants to be responsible for a sad pooch!
How will a dog fit into my family?
Not all dogs are as eager-to-please and friendly as we might think. Depending on their background, some dogs may struggle in certain environments or when surrounded by certain kinds of people. This is common in rescue dogs who’ve experienced a form of trauma – they may be wary around men, women, children, or other animals. It’s important to consider the dog’s desires as well as your own when adopting a furry friend. After all, you two will be family when all is said and done! You also have to consider your own energy levels and stimulation needs. Are you looking for a buddy to chill on the couch with? If so, adopting a high-energy dog wouldn’t fit well into your lifestyle.
Overall, adopting a dog is a huge step in expanding your family. You must be prepared to sacrifice time, energy, and money to prioritize your dog’s wellbeing. Otherwise, you could end up with an unhappy and unhealthy dog or even have to surrender your furry friend. It’s better to postpone adopting a dog than to adopt only to return them in the end. Just remember, with great cuteness comes great responsibility.