If you are thinking about buying a family dog, then know that you’re certainly not alone. Over 60% of American households have a pet, and dogs are by far the most popular choice. In fact, over 60 million US households have a canine companion.
This makes sense; after all, dogs are man’s best friend, and they make for a wonderful family pet. However, they do require a lot of commitment. So, it is important to think about if you really have the time (and money) to look after a dog.
Should You Get A Dog? Five Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Take The Leap
Who Will Be Looking After the Pet?
Will you be looking after the pet, or will your partner and children help out? It is essential to establish this before buying a dog, especially if you don’t have the time to play with and walk the animal every day.
Speak to your family and make sure that everyone is on board with getting a puppy, and then come up with a happy compromise. For instance, you might walk the dog on weekdays and your partner will walk them on the weekend, and the children could feed the dog every day.
Do You Have Young Children?
If you have young children, then it’s recommended to look for a breed that works well with young children. It is also important to teach young children how to behave around a puppy; no tail pulling, teasing or climbing on top of the dog.
Are You Prepared For Accidents?
No matter how well behaved your dog is, there will be accidents inside, especially when they are a puppy. You can buy things to help with this, such as teething toys and toilet pads, but it is important to make sure that you are prepared for some damage. If the idea of a dog peeing on your hardwood floors makes you cringe, then maybe a different pet might suit you better.
Do You Already Own A Pet?
If you already own a pet such as another dog or an older cat for example, then you should think about whether the arrival of a new canine might stress them. This isn’t always the case; in fact, many animals, including cats, crave animal companionship. However, some pets are very prone to anxiety or aggression, and if this is the case then getting a second pet might not be a good idea.
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Do You Travel A Lot?
One of the main reasons we’ve decided that we won’t have pets in our home is the simple fact that we are not home enough. It wouldn’t be fair to bring a pet into our home if we’d have to take it to a kennel or drop it off at a family member’s house all the time (not fair to the pet or friends and family).
If you spend a lot of time away from home, it may be a good idea to postpone having a pet until you know you can fully dedicate your time and attention to the newest member of your household.
What Will Your Life Be Like In 15 Years?
When some people think about getting a dog, they only think about the next five years of their life, but in reality, some dogs can live for 15 or 20 years. This is a huge time commitment, so really think about your future.
Will you have the same amount of time to dedicate to a dog a few years down the road? Will your children be out of the home in a few years? Do you want your children to take the dog when they move out? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may want to reconsider getting a family dog.
Overall, the decision to get a family dog can be a rewarding one as long as you have considered all of the things that go with bringing that loveable puppy home with you.