You want to get a dog – a companion to love, laugh with, cry with, experience life’s ups and downs with. It all sounds exciting but daunting at the same.
Getting your first pet is definitely not an easy decision and there are many factors to think about.
Here’s a list of questions to think about before deciding whether you should get a dog.
1. Lifestyle matters – are you ready to adopt?
Think about your lifestyle and commitments – not just the present ones, but also the potential future. You should look for a dog that compliments your lifestyle i.e. one that matches your activity levels and preferences and not one that’s just cute or the right size.
2. Where do you live?
And where will your dog live? You need to consider the breed and the size your new puppy will reach once they’re fully grown when you’re working out which furry friend will be the best fit for you. Is your backyard secure so your puppy can run and play safely? If you rent, make sure your landlord is okay with you having a dog.
3. Can you afford it?
Animals can be very expensive! High-quality food, grooming appointments, pet supplies and veterinary care expenses are just some of the costs you will encounter as a pet owner. Are you financially capable of looking after your dog?
4. Who will look after the dog?
Think ahead through the practical realities of owning a dog. Here are some pointers, will your partner/spouse accept your dog? Who will take care of it's walking, feeding and grooming schedules?
5. Are you willing to put in the training time?
Dogs aren’t born knowing good manners – they need to learn! Investing time into training isn’t just about building skills though, it’s also about building a relationship with your new dog during a special time together.
6. Doctors aren’t just for humans – have you selected a good vet?
A Vet is an essential point of contact for any dog owner, acting as a trusted partner, proactively keeping your dog fit and healthy. Find a vet you can trust and have confidence in.
7. Are you ready for a lifelong commitment?
Getting a dog is an exciting experience and yet a life-long commitment. In simple terms, that means you commit to keeping the dog as part of your family for its lifetime and this can be up to 18 years or more.
Petsy thoughts: the unspoken vows
In essence, the quality of the relationship you would have with your dog depends on the strength and endurance of the bond between you two. It’s about the unspoken vows you took when you brought it into your life. A dog and human are connected by an invisible bond, that allows one another to trust blindly. Just like any relationship, the one between a dog and human needs to be cultivated and nurtured. This bond, once formed, is there to last a lifetime. It makes it worthwhile – the feeding, walks, training, grooming. All of it. Yes, it’s a lot more work than watching TV, but try to go cuddle a TV – it's just not the same.