Would you like to own a dog? This contributed post provides important questions for you to see if it's the right choice for you and your family.
Deciding to add to your family is a big decision that should never be taken too lightly. Children and pets, they all require you to ask yourself certain questions to ensure that you are ready for the commitment. While owning a pet may not impact you as much as having a child would, it’s vital that you still consider the decision carefully. After all, you are taking on a living thing. This is because owning a dog, or any other pet for that matter, is something you have complete control over. You decide whether you are ready and want to embark on this new journey. Sometimes children don’t give you that luxury.
But how do you know if you are truly ready for a pet dog? What should you do to ensure that you can truly commit? Sometimes just going with your heart isn’t always the answer and you need to think about the decision logically and explore all the angles. So I thought I would share with you some of the most common questions to ask yourself when considering getting a dog.
Do we have space for the dog?
One of the main things to consider when getting a dog is the space you have in your home. Do you have enough space to accommodate a four legged friend who can bounce around your home and have an abundance of energy? Sometimes you don’t realise in advance what impact having another member of the family can do to the space you have in your home. You will need to ensure they have a place to sleep or stay during the hours you are not there. You need to think about whether there's any toilet training that needs to take place, especially if you are getting a puppy. Space is a big factor throughout the decision making process.
Can I even have a dog in my home?
It is all well and good considering whether you have the space, but honestly, is a pet dog even an option for the property you live in? If you own your home it is different, but if you rent, you may need to check your contract to ensure that you have the right to have a pet in your property. If there are no guidelines then you may need to seek permission ahead of time. Secondly, if your property a house with outside space, or is it a flat or an apartment. This again could have a big impact on your decision making as having a family pet dog in an apartment might not be as easy as if you have a house where a dog can roam around the garden if it needs a little fresh air.
Do we have enough time to give a dog?
A dog needs your time, there is no hiding from that fact. Time for playing, affection and most of all training. Considering dog training is important to ensure they obey your orders and behave well. The last thing anyone wants is an unruly pet causing havoc in your home. Dog training especially will take time and it will require your commitment and effort to remain consistent. But you also need to think about whether you can commit the time to walk a dog and exercise them each day. So make sure you consider whether you have that free time to give.
Can we afford to keep a dog healthy and happy?
There is no hiding from the cost implications of having a pet dog. They need your attention, yes, but they also need food to eat, a place to sleep, and regular treatments to keep their skin and gut healthy. Thankfully, brands like PetAction are around to help dog owners keep their pets in tip top condition. But you also need to consider the option of vet bills should an accident happen or your pet dog becomes unwell. These things cost money. Some regular, some might be one off payments, but however you look at it, a pet dog will always have an impact on your monthly budget.
Can we maintain a dog schedule?
In all honesty, it doesn’t take much to look after a dog. If you are an animal lover, the general chores won’t be an issue to you at all. In fact, you will probably take great enjoyment out of cleaning them up and taking good care of them. But a dog does need to have regular exercise each day. Walking tends to be the most popular way and most dog owners will do this twice a day. While some may use this as an opportunity to be more active in their own lifestyles, sometimes, you may find that this isn;’t always something you can completely commit to. What if the weather is bad one day? It doesn’t mean that your dog shouldn't be exercised. You have to ask yourself whether you are around for those regular exercise jaunts. The feeding schedules and of course have time to offer affection. Will you be able to fully commit? Of course, if you do have a busy job, there are local services you could look into, such as regular dog walkers who can happily take your dog out each day for a fee.
What happens when we are not there?
Finally, not everyone is fortunate enough to stay at home each day. So there is bound to be times where your dog will need to be at home without you, it’s unavoidable. So it is important to ensure that you ease your dog gently into this to avoid causing issues with separation anxiety in the future. You also need to workout how long they may be potentially left for. It’s unfair to keep a dog locked away for long periods of time. Not only do they need some form of exercise, or at least be able to stretch their legs, but they may also need to relieve themselves at some point. Factoring this into your schedule is vital.
I hope this helps you come to a decision of owning a dog easily.