It’s easy to get lost in all the excitement of the prospect of getting a dog. However, it’s always important to remember that looking after a dog isn’t always a smooth process. If you’re going into things with only minimal knowledge, or you haven’t fully thought things through, then you could find that dog-ownership is more problematic than you anticipated. Fortunately, there are things you can do that’ll put you on the right path. We take a look at nine essential tips below.
The Hard Questions
It all begins with thinking deeply before you fully commit to the idea of getting a dog as a pet. There’s much to be excited about, yet while you can keep the positive aspects in your mind, you’ll also want to think about the reality of the situation. You have to ask yourself some hard questions. For example, is getting a dog a realistic option, or has the impulsive part of your mind taken over? Having a proper overview will help to avoid any potential problems further on down the line.
Everyone on Board
It’s unlikely that you’re the only one in your home. If you’ve got a family, then you’ll need to think about how they’ll all respond to having a dog in their life. Truth be told, your kids will likely be fully on board with the idea — even if they don’t have an opinion on dogs right now, they’ll come to love him or her pretty quickly. The issue might be with your partner. Dog ownership becomes more complicated when one half of a couple isn’t quite as keen — or is it outright hostile. It’s tempting to see this as a non-issue, or at least something that can be overcome in time, but it’s important to check the severity of the objection beforehand. It’s much easier to resolve these issues before there’s a little canine in your life!
The Financial Factor
We can find it difficult to enjoy anything if we’re laden with worries. While you might love your dog with all your heart, it’s just a fact that your enjoyment of the experience will be compromised if you’re constantly wrestling with the financial factor. Before getting a dog, be sure to calculate just how much he or she will cost you each month (as well as those surprise expenses). There are ways to save money on the cost of owning a dog, and it can also be highly affordable — but there’ll always be a cost, so be sure that it’s a cost that you can handle.
Of course, it’s not as if there’s just a standard-issue “dog” that you can bring into your life. There are hundreds of different breeds of dogs, all with their own styles and characteristics. And it can be even more nuanced, too, since there are even different types of the same breed. For example, if you’re looking for a Labrador, you’ll need to look at an English Lab vs American Lab comparison. The type of dog that’ll be right for you will depend on various factors, including the size of your property, the amount of time you can dedicate to walking them (larger dogs need longer walks). Some dogs are better for young families; others are better for older people. Before agreeing to bring a particular dog into your life, be sure to learn all that you can about their personality, requirements, and so on.
Easy to Clean Home
Your dog is going to bring a lot of life and love into your home…but they’ll also bring some mess too. Sometimes, this will be a mess from the outside (they always seem tempted by big, muddy puddles after all), other times it’ll just be the mess that they produce — such as shedding hairs or peeing on the floor. They can’t always help it! While you’ll be able to train them so that they’re cleaner in the house, the issue will never go away completely. As such, it’s recommended that you get the home infrastructure that’ll allow you to keep your house clean with minimal effort. For example, there are certain types of floor that can be easily cleaned (vinyl flooring rather than carpet flooring, for example).
As well as the financial aspect, perhaps the biggest consideration will be how your new dog will fit in with your daily schedule. They require a lot of love and attention, after all! And so it might not be possible to get a dog if you live a life that keeps you out of the home most of the time (providing you can’t take your dog with you, of course). Those two daily walks are really important too! The truth is that anyone who brings a dog into their life has to make sacrifices; they have to give some things up. All we can say is that it’ll be worth canceling those other activities if it means you’ll have a loveable dog in your life!
Good Times, Bad Times
Though most of your experience with your pet will be fun and enjoyable, there’s no avoiding the fact that there’ll be some bad times too. They’re unavoidable! This could be something as simple as not wanting to go for a walk when it’s raining, or it could be something more serious, such as a veterinary emergency. When you get a dog, you’re signing up for the whole package!
Go With the Flow
Finally, remember that your journey with your dog will be unique. You may have had a dog before, or you may not have. In general, though, it’s best to go into things with only a loose conception of what having them in your life will look like. They’re going to have their own personality, after all.
Follow the tips that we’ve outlined above, and you’ll find that you can avoid many of the issues that can arise from owning a dog. You’ll be making it much more likely that the experience is enjoyable from beginning to end.