10 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog
Bringing a dog into the family is a big decision, and one that should not be taken lightly. Dogs are a long-term commitment, so before you go out and make the leap, check out these 10 things to consider before getting a dog.
Adopting vs Buying a Dog
There are plenty of both pros and cons when it comes to adopting vs. buying a dog. Adoption means you’re giving a home to an animal that may have had a tough life. This is a sweet sentiment that comes with a lot of challenges. On the other hand, when you buy from a breeder, you know the whole back story of the animal. However, buying from a breeder usually means the dog costs a bit more.
One thing to try and stay away from, or at least proceed with caution, is buying a dog online. The Alberta SPCA wrote an article on what to look for if you decide to purchase a dog using this route.
Type of Breed
Not all dogs are alike! Each dog has its own personality, but a dog’s breed is a good starting indicator for the activity level, if they are good with kids, and how much fur will end up on the couch. Make sure the breed you pick is a good match for your family dynamic and lifestyle
Where Will They Sleep?
Just like us, a dog needs a place to rest its head at night. Provide adequate space, especially for a large breed that may make bed sharing a bit uncomfortable. This could mean something as simple as a comfy open crate or big cozy pillow just for them.
Care When You Are Away
Dogs need a fair amount of care, meaning if you’re not home for more than 6 or 8 hours arrangements should be made. If you work long hours look into reputable dog walkers and research dog hotels if you travel.
Cost of Owning a Pet
Sure, there’s the cost of basic food, toys and vet costs, but what about the hidden costs of getting a dog? Getting a dog means there will no doubt be emergency pet bills, the need for boarding, a crate, cleaners for accidents and maybe even special care items like special food. Make sure your bank account can handle the extra costs.
Do you have the time and room in your life to properly look after a dog? They need lots of attention; much more than smaller pets or even a cat. Make sure your lifestyle has room for the proper physical and emotional needs of a dog.
Is Your House Pet-friendly?
Put away potentially life-threatening plants and food and use baby gates to secure any unsafe areas of the home. For more pet-proofing ideas, check out this article from American Humane.
Does Your Dog Need to be Trained?
Properly training a dog takes time and patience, especially when it comes to puppies. Before getting a dog, decide whether you have the time and energy to devote to training. If not, look for a more mature dog that has already been trained.
What Does a Dog Need to Start?
Before you even go out and pick your dog up, make sure you have all the necessary supplies ready to go. This means food, water dish, toys, a crate, leash and any puppy training items such as puppy pads. The dog should also be checked out by a vet and had all the vaccinations needed.
Tags & Microchips
Once you make the leap to owning a dog, this animal quickly becomes an important member of the family, and you wouldn’t want to lose them. Dog tags should always be worn (you never know when they will make a quick getaway), or look into microchipping at the vet.
There are plenty of things to consider before getting a dog, but if you do your proper research and preparation, it very well could be the greatest decision you ever made for your family.
Canadian Pet Expo – Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership.