Dog lovers will happily wax lyrical about the numerous benefits of having a dog, whether these are social, mental, physical, or even scientific. They are a fantastic addition to the family, and they give you and your kids something else to love, burning everyone together into one happy (and slightly furry) family. However, dogs are hard work, so is your family ready for one? Here are four questions to ask yourself.
Are Your Kids Old Enough?
It’s often kids that beg their parents for a dog, but they do this without considering any of the responsibility. Consider whether your kids are old enough to do their fair share of walking, feeding, and cleaning up after the dog. Younger children may not have the energy or the responsibility to take care of the dog, meaning you need to do all of their work for them. Generally, kids aged six and above will get on fine with a dog, especially if you adopt one that’s two years old or more. If you’re dead set on a puppy, you may want to wait a few years just to be sure.
Can You Afford One?
You already know that owning a dog is expensive, but you might also underestimate the true cost of dog ownership. Besides buying treats and toys, you also need to think about pet insurance and medical bills. These are often the biggest costs you’ll encounter when owning a dog, and if your budget does not allow for it, you will not be able to give your dog the best possible life. As it gets older – and therefore more at risk of disease or illness – these insurance costs can increase, which may put you under greater financial strain.
Is Your Home Pet-Friendly?
Another vital element to think about is whether your home is pet-friendly. If you have expensive sofas that may get ruined by shedding, would a long hair dog really be ideal? If your home’s carpeted from top to bottom, what are you planning to do while house training? You should also think about stairs and obstacles that a dog could hurt themselves on while racing around all excited. Before getting a pet, consider possible hazards just like you would a baby. Think about how you can change the layout to make sure it is safe.
Do You Have the Time?
Dogs take plenty of hard work, especially when they are younger. You need to take them for walks, feed them regularly, and train them/. Failing to train a dog properly can cause behavioral issues later on. If you don’t have the time, you should think twice, although you can consider quality dog training to help you, which will reduce the chances of problems and ensure you have a well-behaved dog running around.
Your life will change the first day you bring your furry friend home, and you can look forward to years of cuddles and companionship. However, too many people get a dog before they are ready. This affects the pup more than you might think. If you are confident that your family is ready for a dog, you can check out local shelters or legitimate breeders to find the perfect pet.