It can be tough to know when is the right time to get a dog. Don’t fret though, owning a dog can be one of the most rewarding things in life. It can help bring your family closer and teach your kids personal responsibility. Make sure to meet these three guidelines before you decide to get a dog.
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Your lifestyle can handle it
You will have to change your lifestyle depending on the breed, age, and personality of a dog. Consider this before you get a dog. If you don’t have the time to house train or implement behavioral training you will want to reconsider getting a dog. If you get a dog, it’s not only about buying them food and loving on them. You and the pet will need time to adjust. However, there are some key factors that will determine the type of dog you should get.
Age: If you don’t have the time to take off work for a new puppy, this is not the way to go. Most puppies go to a home after 8 weeks with their mother, which means you need to do all the training after that point. Puppies generally require a lot of attention and if this is your first time to get a dog it will not be the best fit for you. This is even more true if you work a 9-5 job. That puppy won’t handle spending that much time alone very well. In addition, house training will take time. You will have to clean up multiple messes from your new puppy. Owning a dog at this age does make it easier to bond with them. However, if you don’t want to deal with house training or behavioral teachings try adopting an older dog from an animal shelter.
In my case, I and my wife adopted a 5-year-old Labrador/Corgi mix from our local shelter. She was microchipped, spayed, and already house trained. We paid around $60 to adopt her (this number will vary from shelter to shelter). We found her to be a perfect fit for our little family as we both worked full time at different schedules. Since we didn’t have to potty train her, and she was a much more relaxed dog at that point, the transition was much easier for her. For a first-time dog owner, it was the right call for us. Our dog, Bella, was much easier to handle and we could easily adjust to having her in our home. Generally, older dogs tend to adapt to routines fairly quickly and can be much easier to manage. If you can’t invest much time into training, consider getting an adult or senior dog.
A dog’s breed can also play a role in how they interact. It’s important that you do your research over breeds before you adopt. Generally, first-time owners are not ready for bigger, active dogs like German Shepherds or Huskies. Use a breed selector quiz or do your research over a breed so you can prepare yourself.
You have the money to afford them
Consider the cost before you get a dog. Between buying from a dog breeder or having pet insurance, dogs can be expensive. If you get a puppy, you will also have to pay for shots, microchips, and spaying/neutering, not to mention veterinarian visits and medications for fleas you will need to buy. If you aren’t ready on the financial investment, don’t get a dog, because you may just end up giving it to an overcrowded shelter. This doesn’t mean you need to shell out tons of cash each time you want to buy something. Try buying cheap packs of dog toys or a reliable dog bed that won’t wear down. In any case, animals can be expensive. If you can take on this expense then you are ready.
You have space
Although not at the top of the list, it’s important that you have enough space. I’m not just talking about your home. You need to have easy access for you to take your dogs on walks and for them to stretch their legs. Depending on the age and breed, your dog may not need much exercise. However, all dogs need some form of daily exercise. That doesn’t mean you need to run with them every day, but they will need to be walked and played with. Having a backyard makes this easy. If you live in an apartment, make sure you will be able to give walks during the day and have access to a dog park close by.
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