Dogs are undoubtedly loveable and loyal animals, which is why it makes sense that you might be considering introducing a new pet pooch into the home. However, they will require much love, attention and training, so you should never take the decision lightly. Here are eleven factors to consider before you adopt a dog.
1. Commitment to the Pet
Regardless of whether you buy a puppy or an adult dog, the canine will demand much of your attention, especially if they are not house trained. Not only must you dedicate much of your time to training your puppy, but you must also take your new pet for daily walks and you may need to clean up any mess they make within the home and outside of it. They’ll also require monthly baths and will want to play with you. So, you must be committed to investing time and attention into your new pet.
Grooming is an essential factor of owning a pet. They will need their fur to be washed and brushed, and they’ll need their nails to be clipped, which you can choose to either do at home or can seek help from a professional dog groomer, which could cost between $50-90. They’ll also be prone to fleas and ticks, which is why you will need to invest in an effective spot treatment from a reputable company, such as PetAction.
Many dogs will shed their fur, which will quickly make its ways onto your clothes, onto your furniture and occasionally into your food. While lint rollers are a must-have for all dog owners, they cannot protect family members or guests from allergies. For this reason, you must consider people’s allergies before you adopt a new dog. Visit loved one’s houses who own pets to test if you or your family members are allergic. It could prevent you from making a big mistake.
4. Healthcare Requirements and Costs
Every pet will need a vet, so they can receive immediate medical help should they experience an accident or illness. However, veterinarian bills can be expensive, and could cost you thousands of dollars throughout your dog’s life. You can also take out a health insurance plan for your pet, but this could cost approximately $30-40 per month, which is excluding normal checkups to the vet.
It’s important your dog can spend much of their time in the great outdoors. Canines are social by nature, so they will need plenty of space to walk and explore different areas. You must, therefore, consider dog walking areas in your vicinity, and you should identify where leash laws are enforced. If you fail to walk your dog and isolate them from other animals, humans and sights, they can potentially develop aggressive behaviors to other animals. So, ensure you can walk your dog in social settings to improve their social skills and personal happiness.
6. Personal Freedom
Pets are a big responsibility. By adopting a dog, you will be committed to returning home straight after work for the next decade or more. This means you will no longer be able to spontaneously go for a meal with your partner or a drink with colleagues after a busy day at work. You’ll also need to consider what you will do when you travel for business or pleasure. For example, would a loved one be able to care for your pet in your absence, or would you be willing to place your pooch in a doggy daycare facility?
7. Young Children
Do you have kids? Are you planning a family? If so, you must train a dog to socialize with children. However, it can be challenging to train a dog if you also need to care for a young family, so you must identify if you have the time and energy to provide your pet with the love and attention he or she will need. For example, you may need to take your hound to weekly dog training courses to teach your pet basic commands, such as sit, come and lie down.
8. A Pet-Friendly Home
It’s important to create a pet-friendly home before you adopt a dog. There are bound to be obvious hazards you can quickly change, such as moving chemical bottles to out-of-reach cupboards. However, there may also be some surprising dangers. For example, chewing gum can be deadly for canines. You will also need to check both your home and garden for toxic plants for dogs.
9. Neutering and Spaying
Unless you plan to breed dogs, you will want to avoid surprise puppies. Neutering and spaying is, therefore, an important consideration when welcoming a pet into the home. Not only will it prevent unexpected puppies, but it can also reduce a dog’s potentially bizarre or aggressive behaviors.
10. Wild Animals
Do you live in a rural area? Is there potential your dog could encounter skunks, foxes, raccoons or other dangerous animals? If so, you must identify how you will avoid confrontations and protect your dog.
11. Dealing with Death
Nothing can quite compare to the friendship and unfaltering loyalty you will receive from a canine companion. It is likely you will experience many happy memories that you will treasure forever when you own a dog. However, you must be prepared for the sad reality that one day your dog will pass away.
Caring for a pet is a big responsibility, as you will be responsible for your dog’s health, so can determine his or her lifespan. You will also want to be by your pet’s side during their final moments, and the thought alone could lead to much stress and worry. A dog will become a much-loved member of the family, and you must be emotionally prepared to be by your dog’s side through both the good and the bad times. However, if you are up to the challenge, you can guarantee those many happy years will outweigh the sad parts of owning a dog.