Anyone who is thinking about adding a dog to their family needs to think the decision through carefully. While adding a dog can bring a lot of joy and companionship into your life, it is also a huge responsibility. What should you be thinking about before adding a dog to your household?
1. Vet Bills Can Get Expensive
Vet bills for a sick dog could easily exceed $100 or more per appointment. To cut down on the costs of taking your dog in for routine care or when the dog is sick or injured, look into purchasing an insurance policy for the pet. Your vet can talk to you about which plans are right for your animal. Part of owning a dog is ensuring that he receives proper heath care and medical treatments. When you adopt a dog, you need to be ready to commit yourself to the possibility of spending extra money on your pet.
2. Young Dogs Need Training
If you are thinking about buying a puppy, it is important that you consider the time and money it will take to train the dog. Most dog breeds need a few months of solid training to learn proper potty techniques and other discipline. If this is your first time owning a dog, you may want to adopt an older dog that has already been house trained. As puppies grow, their personalities and behaviors change, so adopting and adult dog will give your family a better idea of what to expect from the dog.
3. What Happens When You’re Gone?
Who is going to watch your dog while you are gone on vacation or on a business trip? While you could put your dog in a kennel during your trip, it may be easier to let the dog stay at home and have a friend or relative watch him. If your dog has separation anxiety, make sure that the animal is crated or kept in a confined space when there is no one else around. If all family members are gone during the day, you may need to consider enrolling your dog in a doggy day care facility so that they can get exercise and socialize.
4. Which Breed Are You Going to Get?
Different breeds of dog are going to be better for different types of people. If you have young children, you should opt for a Golden Retriever or a Lab. Are you looking for an active dog or a more mellow dog? If you want an active dog, you’ll want a bigger dog like a Labrador. If you prefer a calmer, less energetic dog, a smaller breed like a Shih Tzu or Yorkshire Terrier may work better for your family. Does anyone in your family have allergies? Find a dog breed that doesn’t shed or is hypoallergenic.
Adding a dog to your household can be a great decision. Dogs are fiercely loyal and can offer your family constant companionship. Just plan ahead and make sure you are ready to take on the extra responsibility and life long commitment of adding a dog to your family. As long as you are aware of the things that you need to do to keep the dog happy and healthy, there is no reason why you can’t go and get a dog today.