Getting a dog is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Any pet can bring a lot of happiness and love into your life, but you shouldn't get carried away by your enthusiasm for a cute puppy. Whenever you decide to take care of a living creature, you need to be absolutely sure that you are up to it, emotionally, logistically, and financially.
Whether you're adopting an older dog, buying a puppy, or a Fido in its prime, you have to provide it with all the necessary care and attention. So, to help you make the most reasonable decision, we have prepared a list of the most important questions to ask yourself before you get a dog. Once you answer them, you will know if you should take such responsibility.
1. Can You Afford It?
Some of us like to think that they could survive on love alone, but before you even start considering your motivations for getting a dog, you have to make sure that you can afford it.
2. Dog Food
Just like people, dogs need high-quality, nutritious food in order to thrive and stay healthy. You will have to spend time reading Earthborn Holistic, Wellness, Blue Buffalo, or Farmina dog food reviews to find the most suitable product for your pup, which you will then need to buy. While it certainly is possible to find good-quality food for a relatively affordable price, you should never skimp on it.
3. Dog Health Care
A potential dog owner needs to realize that getting a new pet also means taking care of its health. Even if your dog is perfectly healthy, you have to schedule veterinary checkups at least once a year, stay up to date with vaccinations and worm control.
4. Pet Insurance
When you buy or adopt a dog, it may be a good idea to buy dog insurance right away. Ideally, you should do it while it's still a puppy before any health issues appear.
5. What Are Your Plans for the Future?
Once you get a dog, you have to take it into consideration whenever you plan any significant changes in your life. Of course, not everything can be predicted; that's why it is also vital to have several people around you who will be willing to take care of your pup in case anything happens. However, if you think about moving abroad, doing an internship on the other side of the world, or hiking across Europe, you probably shouldn't be getting a dog right now.
6. Do You Have Time?
Whether you're getting a puppy, an adult dog, or a senior, you need to be sure that you have enough time on your hands, alongside the money you’re going to have to spend.
Puppy training is time-consuming but absolutely essential if you want to avoid future behavioral problems. And even if you decide on an adult dog, you will have to spend quite a significant part of your days for socialization and habituation. A dog will need to get used to the new environment, smells, obstacles, paths, etc.
Then, dogs in all life stages need their fair amount of physical activities. Even if you don't have to walk your dog thrice a day because you have a garden, you will still need time for regular walks, jogging, and games. Each pet needs exercising to stay in shape and good health, and dogs are very dependent on people in this aspect. While a cat can manage better on its own, a dog needs your time and engagement to exercise.
Additionally, depending on the dog breed you decide on, you have to sacrifice some time for grooming - baths, daily brushing, and a visit to a professional groomer from time to time. Health issues may also require you to engage in various ways.
What's more, all pets need love and attention to remain happy. Otherwise, a dog may develop antisocial behaviors or anxiety.
7. Is Everyone else Equally Enthusiastic?
If you don't live alone, you will have to discuss the idea with the rest of your family or roommates before deciding to get a puppy or adopt a dog. Ensure that no one is allergic to dogs, and everyone feels at ease with having a dog at home.
When you don't have a particular dog in mind, it may be best to go through different dog breeds with your family. For example, if you have children, it will be a better idea to get a dog breed known for being good with kids. You also may want to avoid bringing a little puppy home if you have a small child yourself - in that case, it is better to wait.
8. Final Thoughts
Getting a furry best friend can truly change your life for the better, but this decision comes with many strings attached that really shouldn't be ignored. You don't want to risk a situation when you get a dog only to realize that you haven't thought it through, and you have to give it back. It will not only be a problem for you but above all else, you will end up hurting an innocent creature. Causing suffering to dogs should be avoided at all costs, so don't rush into any decision, browse through our questions to ask yourself first, consider all the aspects of having a pet, and make sure you know what you are doing.