6 Things To Think About If You’re Going To Get A Dog

The decision of whether or not to get a dog isn’t one that you should take lightly. A dog can be a great addition to the family, but they can also be a lot of work. Before you take the plunge, make sure that you’re familiar with all of the ins and outs of getting a dog.

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Here are six things to think about if you’re going to get a dog.

1. Can you afford it?

There are a lot of financial considerations when getting a dog. 6There’s the cost of the dog itself if you buy from a breeder or you’re getting a purebred, which can run into the hundreds depending on how in-demand or popular the breed is. You can save this cost by getting a dog from a shelter. Each year millions of pets are put down because they cannot find homes, and there are a lot of benefits to getting a rescue dog. Shelters also have rescue puppies, so don’t feel like you have to buy a puppy to bring a young dog into your home.

In addition to those initial costs, you’ll need to consider the cost of caring for your dog through food, vets bills and pet insurance. Work out how much it would cost to keep a dog over the course of a year, it could be more than you think.

2. Do you have enough space?
Dogs require a lot of space to run around. It’s unfair to keep a dog in a home where they won’t have much space to move. Ideally, you’ll need a home with a backyard that is secure and will give them some freedom – especially if nobody is going to be at home during the day. Dogs that have a lack of space and stimulation can become bored easily, which will lead them to destroy your house.

It’s important to give your dog space, but not to let them rule the roost. If you don’t want to have your dog go upstairs, on certain furniture items or into particular rooms – you need to prevent them from doing so. Some dog gates or a crate might be useful to have while your dog gets used to their new surroundings.

3. Can you give them the time they need?

When you first bring a dog home, they will need a lot of your time and attention to help them settle into their new home. You might need to take a couple of weeks off work to help them feel comfortable in their surroundings and get them set up with a routine.

You shouldn’t get a dog if you’re going to be working away for long periods at a time. If you spend hours out of the house each day, a dog could soon get lonely. You could hire a dog walker to make sure they get out of the house during the day or head home on your lunch break if that’s an option.

Getting a dog is a serious commitment, so if your lifestyle means you can’t be at home with your dog as much as you should be, it might not be the right move for you.

4. Are you prepared to take them for walks?

It’s easy to underestimate how much you need to walk your dog. Small dogs might require less exercise than big dogs, but they all need to have some form of activity – often several times a day. Getting a dog can be somewhat of a lifestyle change. You’ll need to get up early, be prepared to head out in all kinds of weather and deal with picking up after them.

Walking is a great exercise for your dog, but it’s also a fantastic exercise for you. If you’re looking to get in shape, getting a dog can be the kick you need to help you get started. It may seem like one of the least enjoyable parts of owning a dog on occasion, you should see it as a great opportunity to improve yours and your family’s health.

5. Do you know how to train them?

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Dog training is very important for ensuring a happy relationship for both of you. If you don’t invest the time in training, you could end up with a dog who is spoilt or misbehaves, which can make things difficult.

Attending obedience schools and dog socialization classes are great for training them and you for the best relationship. Make sure you keep some tasty treats to hand like Betsy Farms real meat dog treats, which are ideal for rewarding good behavior. Treats will help them learn quicker, plus we all deserve a bit of a treat now and then, don’t we?

6. Are your children ready for it?

Bringing a dog into your home can be a great thing for your children. Dogs and children can develop a special bond, and your kids will make some great memories with their best friend. However, there isn’t always a good time for you to get a dog for your family – you need to consider the timing carefully first.

The question of what age is right to introduce a dog is a common one. Some families can introduce a dog when a child is at a very young age, while others prefer to wait until children are around eight years old and can start taking some responsibility for a pet. Think about the maturity of your children and whether they’ve been around pets belonging to friends and family. It’s important that they know how to treat a dog and how to look after it, and you must be confident that you can handle the dog as well.

After reading the pointers above, you’ve likely got even more questions about owning a dog. Talk to others who have dogs or talk to a vet about everything you need to know to help you make the right decision. Getting a dog requires a lot of careful thinking, but if you decide to go ahead, it can be a great move for you and your family.