A dog can be a wonderful companion, and a fantastic addition to any family. However, they are also a big responsibility. Looking after a dog takes a lot of time, effort and love. So, while all the signs you should have pets instead of children might be present, or you may long for an animal to play with, you need to make sure you are ready for such a huge commitment. Here are seven questions any prospective dog owner needs to ask themselves.
Can You Afford It?
Owning a dog can be expensive. Just some of the costs you need to be prepared for are:
- Vets Bills
It isn’t fair to take a dog home if you can’t afford to look after it. So, think about this very carefully and prepare a budget.
What About Time?
Money isn’t all a dog needs from you. They also need your time. Some pets are content to be fed once a day and then left in their cage or let out to roam. Not dogs. Dogs require lots of your attention and love as well as regular walks and feeds.
Will You Love It?
Not everyone is an animal person. Ask yourself, honestly, if you could genuinely love a dog. Even when it has done something wrong or isn’t a cute puppy anymore. If you’re not sure, consider dog sitting a friend’s pooch, or joining a borrow a dog service to get some practice.
Could You Cope with the Messy Jobs?
Dogs aren’t all love and play. They can be messy. There’s poo to clean up, urine, vomit, mud, dog hairs, and that wet dog smell to deal with. There’s also a chance of household breakages and mess. Could you handle this?
Have You Got Enough Space?
If they’re regularly walked, dogs don’t need huge amounts of space. But, they will need an area to sleep and some space to have a walk around. You also need to consider where you will keep all their things.
Why Do You Want a Dog?
If you want a dog just to shut the kids up, because you think it looks good, or because your friend has one, then it’s perhaps not right for you. If you want a dog so you can give it a great life, take care of it and build a lasting friendship, go ahead.
Where Will You Be in 5 Years?
Our lives can change a huge amount over the course of a dog’s lifetime. But, their needs generally, do not. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years’ time? Will you have children? Live in a different house? Work longer hours? While it’s impossible to know for sure, having a rough idea will help you to decide if a dog is right for you and which breed would best suit your lifestyle.
These are just a few of the things you need to think about before you rush out and adopt the first dog you see. You should also do your research on different breeds, thinking about how long it will be alone, the other animals it will interact with and any children that may spend time at your home. All dogs, like people, are different, so take your time to make the right decision.