Getting a dog for the first time is a big thing. You get to share your life with a dog filled with joy, fun and love, but you also get a new responsibility, someone to take care of and who depends on you 24 hours of the day. Are you ready to share your life with a dog? To take the responsibility of caring for another living being?
Read on and answer these 10 questions to help you find out if you are ready for getting a dog!
If you want help knowing if getting a dog is right for you, then book a consultation here!
10 questions you should ask yourself before getting a dog
- Is everyone in the family aboard the decision of getting a new family member? Getting a dog should be a family decision, as this new family member will influence everyone in the family.
- A puppy is cute and fluffy, but will grow up and be a 15-20 year commitment and responsibility. Is everyone ready for that?
- A pet costs. Can you afford the mandatory health insurance? Their trips to the vet? Dog food, toys, not to mention the continuous need for a supply of poop bags?
- A dog should not be left alone more than 5-8 hours per day. Can your work schedule adapt to that or do you need to think of maybe hiring a dog-walker or take your dog to a doggie day–care? Or maybe your lifestyle right now is not that dog friendly?
- Have you done the right research into which breed fits your activity level and day-to-day life? Are you jogging every morning and want to bring your dog? Or will you take your dog with you to your local café for that brilliant morning coffee? Don’t expect your needs to change just because you get a dog – if you are not a jogger, then your dog will certainly not make you one, so get the breed that fits you and if adopting from the shelter be very specific about your day-to-day life so they can help you find a dog that is the right match for you. A good shelter should know their dogs to a level where they can direct you to find a good match.
- Can you provide everything your dog will need both physically and mentally?A dog needs more than 3 daily walks – this goes for any dog no matter the breed or activity level. Your dog not only needs physical daily exercise but also mental stimuli in the form of activity toys, playtime and teaching them new tricks (Read here why mental stimulation is so important).
- Have you done your research? Getting a dog also comes with the responsibility of you learning what your dog needs. Borrow dog books, search online, join forums or groups where you can ask all your questions, talk to your friends or family members who has dogs already or book a session with an ethologist to help you on to the perfect start with your
- Are you able to take the necessary time off to introduce your dog to his/her new home? A dog needs around 2 weeks to settle into his/her new home. 2 weeks with you committing to stay at home teaching him/her how life now looks like, setting up routines to meet all his/her needs, providing daily mental and physical stimulation and making sure that your dog gets the right social skills around everyone in the family, including other pets.
- Is your home prepared for a dog? Your new family member will probably want to hang out with you on the couch and will definitely try his/her luck in grabbing food left unattended or have an accident on your new carpet. Go through your home and make sure it is doggie proof – no expensive vase your dog’s tail can knock over? Maybe you need to go buy a storage cabinet for your shoes so your dog won’t use them as chew toys? If you are unsure then contact me today and let us prepare your home for a dog.
- How will your dog’s daily schedule look like? Having a dog means devoting many hours a day. Dogs’ love routines so you need to make sure that you can provide that safety of knowing what comes next for your dog. Sit down and make a schedule of how a week would look like for you – can you provide a healthy routine for your dog?
I hope that this blog has helped you made it more clear on whether getting a dog is something you are ready for. If you have more questions or need help deciding if life with a dog is for you then feel free to contact me for a consultation.