Six Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

The excitement and emotion of a new dog search can be so overwhelming that it nearly blocks out all sense of reason. This is part of why showing up at adoption events unprepared can be such a terrible idea. Once you fall in love with a pup’s furry face, it can be nearly impossible to think reasonably. This is why coming up with a game plan ahead of time can be essential to ensuring you make the right choice when looking for a new dog.

To help prospective dog parents come to rationale, well thought out decisions during their search, we’ve compiled the following list of considerations to keep in mind as you progress on your dog-seeking journey.

1. How Much Space Do You Have for a Dog?

This one may seem simple, but it is also vitally important. The amount of space that you can dedicate to a dog will largely dictate what size breed will be most suitable for your situation.

If you’re short on space, consider your outdoor options as well. Do you have a backyard or nearby parks you could utilize to get your dog the exercise it needs? These are all critical questions to ask yourself.

If you’re considering a breed that might grow too big for your space, remember this: a dog’s crate should be 2-4 inches taller and longer than the dog itself. If you don’t have room for a crate that size in your living room, you probably don’t have room for the dog either.

2. How Much Time Do You Have for a Dog?

Dogs don’t require a huge amount of time in total, but it is a regular, daily time commitment. Dogs need regular meals, exercise, and potty breaks. They are happiest and feel safest with a stable routine – just like humans. If you work odd hours or travel on a regular basis, a dog may not be the right companion for you. Neglect is often unintentional, and if you are unaware of how sporadic your schedule is, you could slip into the category unknowingly – even with the best intentions.

3. How Much Money Can You Dedicate to a Dog?

No one likes to talk about money, but it must be said. Dog ownership can be quite expensive. Food, toys, regular grooming, pet insurance, and vet visits alone can cost several thousand dollars a year. For some potential dog owners, this could be a significant financial burden.

This highlights what we should all already know: a dog is a big-time financial commitment. By taking ownership of a dog, you agree to provide it with food, shelter, healthcare, mental stimulation, and exercise to the best of your ability. In return, your dog will give you affection, support, and companionship for the rest of its life. While these benefits are great, dog owners need to know if they are prepared for the very real cost.

4. Who Will Help Care for the Dog?

If you don’t live alone, you’ll quickly find that a dog must become a family or group commitment. Unexpectedly staying late at work? Fido can’t pick up the phone or let himself out for a bathroom break.

Hey, stuff happens, but a responsible pet-owner should always have plans B and C ready in case of an emergency. Nearby family members are often a great place to start, but there are also other options you can rely on – like dog-walking or grooming services.

5. A New Puppy Means Tons of Work!

Puppies are cute is a nearly undeniable fact, what goes unmentioned is how much work caring for and training a new pup can be. If you don’t have any experience with raising a puppy, know this: they can be quite a handful.  They require constant supervision to be kept out of mischief. If the puppy isn’t housebroken yet, it will require frequent walks and clean-ups after accidental in-house tinkles.

Additionally, if you can’t put in the work right from the start, your puppy can develop hard-to-kick habits that are less than desirable. Some examples include incontinence, barking, biting, digging, licking, or worse – aggression.

So, while puppies can look like a lot of fun, they also can be a lot of responsibility. That is why it is important when one sees irresitably adorable maltese puppies for sale, remember the amount of work that one of those adorable fluffballs will require once you get them home.

6. Dogs Are a Lifelong Commitment

The final consideration we will discuss is the length of commitment that dog owners sign up for when they get a new puppy. It is important to remember that some dog breeds can live more than 15 years. That is a long time to take care of another living thing. Keep this in mind as you consider what the next decade and a half may bring your way and how this may impact your ability to care for a dog.

It can be a lot to handle, but with careful thought and consideration of your circumstances, it can be much easier to find your ideal dog-type in the long run.

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