There are quite a few considerations to factor in before you bring a furry little fellow home. In this article we will go over a few of the things that every single person should think about before getting a puppy. Getting a dog is no small task and is a very serious commitment that you need to be sure you want for the next ten years at least. It is important to give your dog a good healthy life as well as training it early in its development stage. But there are a few factors that a lot of people do not think about before getting a dog to add to their family.
1. Cost – One of the main things to consider is that puppies are not cheap at all. The list goes on and on of expenses you will need to get; dog food, flea and tick medicine, vaccines, spay or neutering, accessories, dog boarding when you travel, toys, dog crates, and unexpected emergencies. Not even accounting for the cost of the actual puppy, like this golden-haired Tibetan mastiff puppy that sold for $1.95 million US dollars. If you are getting a super young puppy then you will also have to account for damage to furniture which can be extremely costly. Puppies are not a cheap thing at all, and unless you think that you are in a good situation financially to get a dog then you should never make that situation worse.
2. Time – If you are someone that barely finds free time for yourself then you may want to wait before you decide to get a dog. Puppies need tons and tons of constant attention. When they are young, they will need bathroom breaks extremely often, and before that you will most definitely need to clean up after them for accidents inside often. Your puppy will not need just an hour or two per day, they need attention multiple times per day. You should have a feeding schedule, time for walks, time for veterinarian visits, and time to just entertain them. You should stop and think is now the right time for me to get a dog? If you think about it forever and wait for the perfect timing you may not ever get one, but timing is a huge factor. You should wait on getting a dog if you just had any major life changes such as having children, employment changes, moving, shifts in family dynamics, or expecting children. A puppy is going to require tons of your attention so make sure that you are going to be able to give it to them.
3. Space – The amount of space that you have access to you should also be a huge factor in choosing your dog. Generally, the larger the size of the breed is, the larger space that you are going to want to provide them. You should also consider how much access to green space that you have such as your yard or nearby parks. Depending on the breed, your dog may want to exercise a lot more compared to others. Dogs need enough space to run and play to get energy out, if they do not then you will have a dog that wants to play when it is time for bed. You should also consider things like will if fit it your car, because you will need to bring it places such as the veterinarian or for to take them out for a hike somewhere new. Space is a huge factor in deciding what dogs you could get, and something that every future dog owner should consider.
4. Allergies – Do you, anyone in your direct family, or any of your friends have allergies to dogs? It is estimated that 10-20% of the population has allergies to dogs or cats, so it is important to make sure this would not affect you if you got a dog. Studies have also shown that those with asthma have even higher allergy rates with dogs and cats. It may be unfortunate but if anyone that you live with has an allergy to dogs, you will definitely need to wait until you are in a different situation to reconsider if you should get one. Allergies can be very mild or can be severe depending on how the person’s body reacts to it, and it is important to respect that. This is a big factor which may even be a deciding factor for those looking to purchase a puppy.
5. Mess – This somewhat goes along with what was said earlier with regards to time, however it deserves its own section because the messes that puppies make can be unbearable at times. Dogs are dirty, believe or not they are still animals and they will always act like it. Dogs shed, dig slobber, rip toys apart, make messes while they eat, poop, pee, and vomit inside. You will definitely need to clean up after your dog and if you are someone who is scared of things like this you may not make the best dog owner. Sometimes your dog will get inside the house covered in mud and track it all over, and it is not like you can tell them to clean up after themselves. Many messes will need to be cleaned and many items will need to be replaced after being chewed on, this is part of having a dog and something that everyone experiences.
6. Children – Unfortunately, all dogs will react differently to children. Some dogs get along great with children while some will bark and growl at them. But you should also think about what you children’s behavior towards the dog will be like. They also need to help train it and not allow it to break rules set in place for the dog. You will need to teach your kid to be a great model for the dog and teach them how to behave around dogs. Having your child in on the training process will make it much easier on yourself, and much clearer for the new dog to understand. If children have bad experience with a dog, they might be afraid of dogs for the rest of their life. It is very important to make sure that it is a positive experience for not only your child, but also the dog as well. Dogs can always be trained to react positively with children, you will notice the dogs will try to help take care of your child.
7. Puppy Proofing – Lastly, this is something to consider more once you have made the decision to get the dog, but you should puppy proof your home. First off you will need to make sure that anything that is toxic to animals should be out of reach. In an earlier article we discussed a few foods which your dog should never eat, but the list of foods/household items that are toxic to animals is much longer than that and will need to be noted. There are also a few plants that are toxic to animals so you should do research into that and make sure there is none in your yard if you have one. If you are getting a puppy you should know that they will chew through your cords and chargers, so try to have those out of reach for when you are not supervising the puppy. If you have any favorite shoes, accessories, or clothing you should also make sure that the puppy cannot get to those, because if they can, they might get chewed up.
These are a few of the main things that everyone should probably definitely consider if they want to add a dog into their family. Dogs are no simple chore and will require tons of love and attention. If you give them that and train them well, you will have one of life’s best and most loyal companions. Please take your time and do your research before you jump in and make any decisions, a dog is a life-changing event, and if done at the right time in the right situation, it will only be for the good.