3 Questions to ask Yourself Before Getting a Dog

3 Questions to ask Yourself Before Getting a Dog

Owning a dog is a dream for a lot of people. Dogs bring love and loyalty into the home along with physical and mental health benefits. It can seem like a no brainer, but dog shelters are crammed to bursting with dogs abandoned by owners who didn’t give the decision enough thought. If you’re thinking about getting a dog in the near future, here are the three big questions you should ask yourself.

How often will you be at home?

Dogs need company. They’re pack animals who bond tightly with their humans. Most pets can’t be left alone for extended periods of time and doing so will cause untold harm. Dogs can develop separation anxiety, leading to destructive behavior like chewing and digging. It’s not uncommon to return home after a long day and find that your house has been torn apart by a stressed and frightened dog. This cycle of abandonment and destruction continues until the dog is dumped in a shelter.

Moreover, you’ll need to walk your dog at least once and, in some cases, twice daily. If you can’t be at home all day, try to make sure that somebody else is or at least have friends and family drop in to visit the dog. The same applies to holidays. If you’re a frequent traveler who’s often away, now might not be the best time to take on the commitment.

Have you budgeted?

Everybody knows that dog food and toys cost money, but there are plenty more hidden costs associated with dog ownership. Vet’s bills account for a large portion of your dog budget. Vaccinations, regular checkups and (as the dog ages) procedures and medication, all stack up. Using a search tool like exceptionalpets.com will help you to find the best veterinary care for your new friend, but you’ll still need to budget. Research your area by reputation and reviews, rather than simply price. This ensures the best possible treatment.

Pet insurance can make vet’s fees more manageable. Many owners choose to pay a set monthly sum to spread the cost. Now, if you want to know how much does pet insurance cost, Canine Journal answers you in this article. Elsewhere, you’ll have to pay for things like leashes and collars, and “dog proofing” a home can be costly too. If you’re going on holiday, you’ll need to find alternative accommodation, perhaps paying kennel fees.

Have you researched breeds carefully?

All too many people choose a breed of dog based purely on how it looks, which is a big mistake. Although all dogs are different, breeds do have unique characteristics. Siberian huskies, for example, love to run and are perfect for an active family. Labradors are notoriously kid friendly, and Greyhounds are the ultimate couch potatoes. Choose a dog based on how it will fit into your household, not just how it looks.

This is especially important for families. No dog should be left alone with young children unsupervised, but certain animals are a better fit. Basset Hounds, for example, are far less likely to accidentally knock a small child over than a German Shepherd. Pay careful attention to breed characteristics and make an informed decision based on your circumstances.

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