Everyone loves a dog. From the cutest little puppy to the biggest Great Dane, dogs have been human’s best friend for thousands of years. They are loyal, playful, affectionate companions, and they will happily follow you wherever you go.
Deciding to introduce a dog into your household is a big step. No doubt your entire family will be overjoyed by the decision, but there is a lot of commitment involved. You need to know what you’re getting into. You will have to make sure you are capable of meeting your dog’s individual needs as well as ensuring both the dog and your family are safe.
Before you make the decision, here are five things you need to consider before bringing your furry friend into your home.
Which dog do you want?
There are so many different breeds of dogs out there, so you’ll need to make a choice. Consider which type of dog you would prefer and whether a puppy or an older dog would be best. Puppies are cute and playful, but they have a lot of energy and will need regular walks and attention. They also need to be trained, so expect to spend a lot of time cleaning up after them. On the other hand, older dogs are much lower maintenance, although you may still need to train it a little. The breed is a much more difficult choice as they all come with different characteristics and personalities. Don’t base your decision on looks alone. Do some extensive research to help you make your selection. You will want to meet the dog in advance to decide whether you and your family will bond with it.
Is your home dog-friendly?
Dogs love to explore strange new places and like to put unfamiliar objects in their mouths. Make sure your home is a safe environment for your new pet. Get rid of or lock up anything that might be poisonous to a dog, including certain houseplants, medications, and cleaning supplies. You should secure any electrics and remove any plastic objects a dog could choke on. Keep the toilet lid closed at all times, and don’t leave a puppy unsupervised.
Is your dog child-friendly?
As well as ensuring your dog is safe, you will need to be sure your new pet won’t present a risk to you or your children. Some dogs don’t get along with young kids, so you will want to meet the new member of your household before bringing them home. The last thing you want is your little ones hospitalized due to injuries from a dog bite.
Do you have the time?
Dogs require a lot of work. They need to be trained, fed, groomed, walked, and played with. If you really love dogs, then you will be more than happy to devote a large chunk of your time to caring for your new pet, but if you are too busy with work or personal commitments, then it may not be the right time in your life.
Can you afford a dog?
Dogs are also expensive. After the initial purchase, they will still need to go to the vet regularly and eat plenty of food and water, not to mention all the other accessories that will keep them happy and safe. The lifetime cost of owning a dog can be as much as $40,000, so be prepared for a significant investment.