Whether you are thinking about adopting a rescue or getting a puppy, there are many things to consider besides breed, color, and gender. The decision to get a dog should never be a snap one, after all, most dog breeds live between 12 and 20 years – that’s a long-term commitment. Here are some things to ask yourself before adding a lifelong friend to your home.
Why Do You Want A Dog?
Are you getting a dog just so your children will stop nagging you? If so, chances are that that dog won’t be at your house for long. If the whole family is not on board, wait. It’s better for you and the dog. Or maybe you want a dog for other reasons. Thinking about these things can help you choose the right dog for your household, which will help insure he sticks around.
Do You Have The Money?
It costs a lot of money to have a dog. Are you adopting because you can’t afford a purebred puppy? Well, that adopted dog is still going to add up to a lot of money between supplies, vet bills, registration, training classes, etc. According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the first year alone can add up to anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000 – not including unforeseen health problems! They estimate that lifetime expenses are around $25,000. And again, that’s not including things like emergency surgeries or long-term illness such as cancer.
Do You Have The Time?
Are you gone long hours and travel all the time? Do your friends think you’ve moved away? If so, you may not have time for a dog. They need attention every day, including, training, exercise, grooming, feeding and cleaning up after them.
Who Will Be Taking Care Of The Dog?
So maybe you are thinking you don’t have the time, but the kids can take care of the dog. THINK AGAIN. Your kids may swear up and down that they will take care of the dog, but we all know at the end of the day it will be you! Even if your kid’s do pitch in, you are still going to have to do things like take the dog to the vet, make sure your kids are taking care of the dog properly, etc. If you don’t want to do it, don’t get a dog.
What Will The Dog Do During The Day?
If all the adults in the house work, what will the dog be doing? Is your house dog-proof? Do you have a yard they will be in – is it dog-proof? Some breeds do not do well alone, which is something to consider when you are deciding on what type of breed to get – no one wants to deal with separation anxiety. If you are so busy you are rarely home, you may want to skip a dog and get a cat. They are much easier to leave home alone.
Are You Willing To Make Sacrifices?
Sometimes, your dog’s needs might come at an inopportune time. Are you willing to skip the family trip because the money needs to be used for your dog’s surgery? Are you willing to stay home from a vacation because you couldn’t find a pet sitter? Or maybe your dog gets sick at the last second and the
choice is to leave it at home sick or miss out on the concert you bought nonrefundable tickets for and go to the vet. It happens. Dogs are dependent on us and sometimes you need to make sacrifices for their wellbeing. If you aren’t ready for that, don’t get a dog.
Are You Prepared To Say Goodbye?
This might seem like a strange question, but for some people, this is it where it stops. They just can’t bear the thought of having to say goodbye to the dog who has become their best friend. If you aren’t able to cope with the fact that your best friend will leave this Earth before you, you may want to get a pet parrot or tortoise – these guys just might outlive you.
Here’s What to Do if You are Unsure About Getting a Dog!
Think you might be ready but are unsure? Get your dog fix by volunteering at a shelter, hanging out with friends’ dogs, or working at a dog boarding facility. Try fostering first. It allows you to “try out” owning a dog while helping homeless ones at the same time.
Having a dog is a wonderful thing. They add to our lives in ways only a dog can. But, do the dogs of this world a favor and only get one when you know you are 100% ready.