Are You Ready for a Dog?

The decision to get a dog should never be taken lightly. After all a dog will be part of the family for the next ten years or more. Consider these issues to see if you are really ready before you go ahead and purchase a new puppy.

Jack Russell sitting next to empty space

Commitment

Dogs live for ten years on average. Having a dog is a long commitment that you’ll need to stick to every single day. Are you prepared to take your dog out for a walk every day whatever the weather? Are you prepared to spend as much time as it takes to train your dog? Are you willing to do anything to ensure that your dog remains healthy, happy, safe and comfortable? Think carefully and realistically about how a dog would fit into family life now as well as in the future. You should never get a dog if you are not sure that you can handle the responsibility and deal with the consequences of your decision.

Financial Cost

A dog will become a new member of the family and, just like a baby, having a dog means making a financial commitment. Dogs are expensive. After the initial costs of purchasing the dog, you need to be prepared to pay for food, toys, bedding, grooming equipment, training classes, veterinary bills and anything else your dog requires for the rest of its life. Do not get a dog if you are not willing to open your wallet to give your dog the best life possible.

Environment

Do you have the right environment for a dog? Can you provide a safe, suitable and secure home for a dog for the whole of its life? Each breed of dog will have different needs when it comes to a suitable environment. A large, energetic breed of dog that requires plenty of space and stimulation will not be happy living in a small apartment. Select a breed of dog that will be right for your home.

Time

Woman being licked or kissed by dog
Whilst time consuming and costly, dogs are very rewarding animals
How will a dog fit into your lifestyle? If you have a hectic full-time job where you travel a lot and are never home getting a dog is not a good idea. Dogs need constant love and affection from you or else will get bored, frustrated and unhappy. You need to be willing to spend a lot of time and energy on your pet to keep it healthy, stimulated and feeling loved.

Dog Care

Do you understand the complex needs of a dog? Are you familiar with the appropriate dog care including regular exercise, hygiene and grooming? Research into the biology and behaviour of different dog breeds will help you to better understand the needs of individual dogs. It is vital that you understand how every dog is different and requires different care before deciding to get one of your own.

Owning and taking care of a dog is thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. However it is also a long term commitment. When you understand fully the responsibility, care, cost and commitment needed you are ready to give a dog a happy and loving home.