Adopting a puppy (or a fully grown dog) is something that appeals to many of us. Who doesn’t want a furry bundle of joy to spend our time with? Still, it is something that needs to be taken into careful consideration. There may be any number of reasons why adopting a dog isn’t for you, and there are questions you need to ask yourself before you make the commitment. We will list some of them here, and if you are yet to welcome a canine companion into your home, think through the questions carefully before coming to the decision.
Can you afford to keep a dog?
After scouring the classifieds at Puppy Joy or picking a dog up from the local animal shelter, you will finally be able to bring pooch home. However, the cost extends beyond the initial purchase. There are the food expenses to consider, as well as the general upkeep, vet bills, toys, etc. that are all part and parcel of owning a dog. Take a long look at your budget before you decide, and if you are in any way unsure, perhaps think against buying one. After all, it would be a shame for both you and pooch if you had to return or sell him later on, should money become an issue.
Who is the dog for?
If you’re buying the dog for yourself, then fine. On the other hand, if the dog is an intended gift for your kids, you might want to think again. They may have promised to look after the animal, but kids are fickle people, and you may be the one looking after the dog after only a short length of time. If you are buying for your children, make sure they know the commitment involved, and be as strict as you need to be to ensure they look after the dog properly.
Do you work full-time?
If you are out of the home all day at work, your dog may not get the company it craves. He will then annoy the neighbors with anguish until you return. If you do need to be out of the house for long periods of time, ensure you have somebody you can call on to feed your dog, and to take them for a walk. If you are able to pop home every so often, then that is for the good as well. However, if your dog is going to be left alone for very long periods, you may need to think again until your lifestyle changes. This will be better for the dog, as well as for your property, which may become damaged should the dog get bored while you’re out.
Is your home safe?
Your home and garden may be unsafe for your dog, so you need to take action before you welcome in your new addition. Check out our garden safety tips, and then dog-proof your home, such as putting up baby gates, removing chokable items, and tying up loose cords and wires. Considering dogs love to explore, you need to take all precautions necessary to preserve their health and safety.
Dogs need exercise, so unless you have another family member or dedicated dog walker at your disposal, you will need to get out of the armchair and outdoors with pooch. Certain breeds demand more exercise than others, so if you aren’t as fit as you would like to be, you may want to consider buying a low-energy dog that doesn’t need the high-fitness regime that befits something like a Labrador or a Dalmation. Of course, you may just be lazy, so getting a dog will give you the motivation you need to give both of you a good working out on a daily walk.
Do you have patience?
Dogs are wonderful animals, but they will test your patience. From chewed table legs to the occasional toileting accident, you will need to have the patience to cope. This includes having the patience to train your dog to a sufficient level, as this will alleviate any behavior problems your dog exhibits. On the other hand, if your stress level is liable to go through the roof, you might want to consider buying a goldfish or another low-maintenance pet instead.
Is it a family-decision?
You might want a dog, or as mentioned earlier, the kids may have pestered you into getting one. However, everybody needs to be in agreement. Behavior training needs to be consistent amongst every member of the family, and there are issues with having a dog that need to be taken into consideration. One of these is allergies, so you need to make sure nobody will suffer with their health as a result. While you may be the person taking on the brunt of the responsibility in ownership, other members of the family need to get involved to make the life of the dog more tolerable while in your home.
What is your living situation?
If you are renting accommodation, you need to make sure the landlord is happy with a dog being present in the first place. If there are no restrictions, whether your house is bought or rented, you should also look at the size of your property. A large house or apartment is fine, but you need to ensure your dog is able to live comfortably if you are living in a smaller space. An outdoor yard or garden is also useful, and if you have neither, consider whether your dog will be happy cooped up indoors all day.
Do you have other pets?
By other pets, we really mean cats, as they don’t always mix well with their canine rivals. However, cats and dogs can live together amicably, though you are probably better off getting a puppy to get them used to living with their feline housemates.
Are you sure about getting a dog?
After reading through all the other questions, this is the obvious final thing to ask. If you are sure having a dog in your life will cause no problems for you or for them, then we wish you every success as you welcome this new addition to your home. On the other hand, if you are unsure, look for ways to practically remedy problem situations before taking on this lifelong commitment.
Thanks for reading!