Should You Get a Dog?

By Claire Smith September 3rd, 2021

Are you currently considering getting a dog? Dogs aren't called man's best friend without reason. Many people would agree that dogs are magnificent creatures. Any responsible individual who's lucky enough to have a dog in their life will be enriched by the experience. Most dog owners consider their canine companions an important part of their family.  

Yet owning a dog isn't just about how it can improve your quality of life. You must also consider what you and your family can offer the dog. After all, too many dogs end up in animal shelters because their owners neglected to contemplate the potential realities of having one in their life. Before you decide to get a dog, here are some of the important factors to ponder first: 

Can You Afford It? 

Owning a dog can be quite expensive. You don't just have to pay for a dog's food, toys, bedding, etc. Dogs need regular medication such as flea treatment, and heartworm prevention products. You also have to consider the cost of pet insurance so that you can cover your dog's veterinary bills.  

You'll need to think about all of the expenses involved in owning the breed of dog you want, and whether your budget will cover them. If you cannot afford to cover the expenses associated with owning a dog, it would be irresponsible to get one.  

Do You Have the Right Temperament? 

Dogs are pack animals. Packs have leaders. If you aren't a relaxed yet confident leader, your dog will pick up on this. As a result, your dog probably won't obey your commands. If you don't do a convincing job of things, your dog may even assume the role of pack leader. If that happens, you're likely to run into problems with your dog. Bear in mind that even small dogs can become aggressive if they aren't correctly trained. Therefore, if you tend to have a nervous and timid temperament, a dog isn't the right kind of pet for you.  

Are You Fit Enough for The Job? 

Ideally, you should exercise your dog three to four times daily, for at least fifteen minutes. Are you fit enough to walk a dog for a minimum of an hour a day? If not, is a fitter family member willing to take on the responsibility? If there's no willing family member, can you afford to hire a dog walker? If you can't find a means of giving a dog the required outdoor exercise, it's a bad idea to get one. 

Can You Handle Poop? 

Some people can get used to picking up dog poo, but others can't. If you have a weak stomach and struggle to deal with poop and other gross stuff such as earwax or blocked anal glands, you should think twice before getting a dog. Dogs aren't for people with a strong gag reflex.  

Is Your Property Suitable? 

Every dog breed is different. Some breeds have a massive amount of energy. Others are very large. Such dog breeds don't adjust well to life in a small apartment. Ideally, they require a large suburban or rural house with a large yard. Only smaller breeds such as pugs or bulldogs can handle life in a small apartment or condo.  

If your living arrangements are unsuited to a particular breed of dog, you have two options. You can either get a more appropriate breed of dog or wait until you move somewhere else before getting the type you originally wanted.  

Do You Have Kids or Other Pets? 

Some breeds of dogs are more kid-friendly than others. The same rule applies to cats, birds, and other animals. You may have your heart set on getting a particular breed of dog. However, if that dog breed wouldn't have a good relationship with the other people and animals in your home, getting one would be unwise. Before you obtain a dog, make sure the breed is acceptable for your family situation.  

Is Someone Usually at Home? 

Because dogs are sociable animals, they tend to suffer from separation anxiety if they're left alone for long periods of time. A bored dog suffering from separation anxiety is highly likely to eat your shoes or, even worse, your couch. You should only consider getting a dog if you know it won't be left alone for long periods of time. Hence, if you live by yourself and work long hours, a dog is a poor choice of pet.

Do You Go on Vacation A Lot? 

The truth is that owning a dog can tie you down. If you go on regular vacations, at least make sure you know a kind animal lover. You'll need to find one who is willing to take care of your dog without any resentment.  

Of course, there are places where you can leave your dog while you go on vacation. Nevertheless, it's always better to have someone both you and your dog trust to take care of your pet. Keep in mind that if you often go on vacations or travel because of your work, a dog isn't the wisest choice of pet.  

Have You Researched the Breed?  

As you might have already guessed from what you've read so far, researching any dog breed you think about getting is vitally important. By researching a breed of dog you're interested in, you can determine if it would really be right for your home and family. That way, you're far more likely to find the correct breed of dog for your particular circumstances. Thus, the odds of you keeping the dog you acquire are much higher than they would be if you hadn't done your homework first. 

Giving A Dog a Loving Home 

Do you love dogs? If you think dogs are great and you could provide the right environment; go ahead and get one. Ideally, your first port of call should be an animal shelter. If you can adopt a suitable breed in need of a home, then do so. Failing that, make sure you purchase your dog from a reputable breeder rather than a puppy mill.  

Provided you've done your research and you know you can offer a suitable, loving home to a dog, nothing is stopping you from responsibly procuring a furry family member. There are few things better than having a dog in your life. So, what are you waiting for? 

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