A dog can be a wonderful addition to a home, but pet ownership is a big commitment and should be carefully considered. If you are thinking about getting a dog it is important to research, plan, and reflect before making a decision.
5 Things to Consider Beforehand
Most dogs are happiest when their daily routine is predictable and includes companionship. Are you a busy, on-the-go individual who likes having the flexibility to jet off at a moment’s notice? Who will watch your dog when you’re gone? What about your home life, work, and school schedules? Long days at the office, busy evenings, and kids’ activities may leave you little time to care for your dog.
As a pet parent, you will spend considerable time training, grooming, feeding, exercising, and bonding with your dog. Puppies need extra attention and require frequent potty breaks. Certain high-energy breeds need consistent daily exercise, even late into adulthood.
Just like humans, dogs want to be comfortable in their surroundings. Certain dog breeds are impacted more by their environment than others. For example, short nose breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, may not acclimate well in warm climates. You’ll need to add a dog coat and shovel to your shopping list if you want a chihuahua that will tolerate cold and snowy winters. Arctic breeds like huskies might fare better in colder temperatures.
Smaller pets often need less physical space than larger breeds of dogs and may adapt well to apartment living. Older dogs are generally more sedentary and may require less outdoor space for exercise. A fenced yard can provide a safe and easy-to-access space for puppy playtime or for your older dog to explore on their own.
Having a dog is an ongoing fiscal responsibility, which can span 15 years or more. Pet ownership is a significant expense and should be considered in your decision-making. Make a list of possible expenses and see if it fits with your budget to become a pet parent.
Food, veterinary care, pet insurance, pet sitting, boarding, grooming, training, toys, and supplies can add up. Also, consider that a purebred dog from a reputable breeder may cost thousands of dollars, and veterinary expenses may mount as your pet ages.
Adding a pet to your family will impact the entire household. Every family member should be on board to help acclimate and keep a new dog safe in the home. It will be important to discuss how pet care responsibilities will affect the family.
Ideally, everyone in the home will share in the caregiving for your pet, but at a minimum, one person should be committed to providing the ongoing attention and care your dog will need to thrive. Children grow up, can lose interest, or get busy with extracurricular activities. Spouses decide they don’t like dog kisses or develop allergies.
Support from Pet Professionals
Finding a veterinarian, trainer, and pet sitter before welcoming a dog into your home can get you off on the right foot by learning about nutrition, preventative care, and training. Additionally, these professionals may be able to recommend a breeder or rescue organization with a pet that suits your lifestyle.
Pet professionals will provide varying levels of support through the stages of your pet’s life. Certain dog breeds are prone to health risks such as cancer, diabetes, or glaucoma that require more intensive veterinarian care. Pets with health challenges and senior pets may also need more frequent visits from a pet sitter when you are away from home.
Is your home prepped for a pup?
If after careful consideration you decide to add a pup to your family, you’ll want to make sure your home is ready to welcome your new fur-ever friend. Pup-proofing your home can include:
• Setting up a crate – a relaxing and safe space for your pup and essential for potty training.
• Placing gates across doorways.
• Ensuring all small objects and toys are out of each.
• Storing food out of reach.
• Securing electrical cords.
• Removing toxic plants.
Considering all these variables will help you decide if a new pet is right for you. Education and preparation help build a bond with your new dog.
Vet Advice from Dr. Lisa
At Pet Butler, we want you and your pet to live your best and healthiest lives, which is why we offer pet waste removal and other services year-round. We offer weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and one-time clean-up services to work with your schedule and needs.