A lot of people have pet dogs. A lot of people also do not. Is one group better than the other? Absolutely Not.
However, you’re probably reading this because you really want to add four legs of adorability to your family, right? It isn’t that hard to get a dog. But keeping him or her happy is an entirely different thing. This requires some lifestyle changes, rearrangement of priorities as well as a tremendous amount of patience.
Do you believe you have these qualities in you? If so, don’t rush into the nearest shelter or breeders just yet. We recommend reading the entire article and answering the 10 questions which will help you determine your readiness to adopt a pet dog.
1. Do you have enough space?
First of all, if you live in an apartment that isn’t more than 80 square meters (860 sq. feet), we recommend ruling out very large dogs or very active dogs. There is a reason why some dogs fall into the category of apartment pets. Even if you want an active and high-energy, fluffy dog, you can get a Fox terrier, a Jack Russell, or someone of that nature.
Huskies, Shepherds, Rottweilers, and similarly-sized or larger dogs should always have sufficient space indoors and outdoors. Any home is good enough for a dog if there’s enough love in it, but you definitely don’t want a 50-pound husky doing zoomies in a one-bedroom flat.
2. Are you travelers?
Because this is a huge warning sign that should stop you right away. Travelers don’t have dogs because dogs are very sensitive when it comes to changing their living environment. A dog needs routine and they have to settle, meaning that if you’re often going away, they will feel anxiety and won’t have reassurance about their daily routine. And they need that. Get all exotic traveling out of your system and don’t do it more than 2-3 times every year.
3. Have you already settled?
Once again, the home environment is very important to a dog. If it changes, they become anxious and nervous, which is definitely annoying because it isn’t easy for humans themselves, so a whining and the panicking dog isn’t something you want to have. Make sure you aren’t switching homes too often (more than once every 4 years) so that the dog can adapt.
4. Are you willing to make sacrifices?
A pet is your responsibility – 100% of the time. And responsibilities demand sacrifices. So, you will definitely have to be fine with not having those minutes or hours dedicated to watching TV shows or playing video games and instead, going for a walk with your pet or playing with them. Make sure you’re fine with this because if you’re not, after a few months, the pet won’t be bringing you any joy and instead, will feel like a burden. That’s not something you want.
5. How are your finances?
Without going into detail too much, we’re just going to say that if you live from paycheck to paycheck it is probably not a good idea to get a pet. They probably need a few hundred dollars/euros/pounds monthly and you cannot be stingy as this can result in diminishing health, etc.
6. Do you know about grooming and the breed?
It’s likely that you have your eyes set on a particular breed of dogs. That’s great and that’s how it should be. You should know what dog you want and be ready to take him/her into your family. However, you should know that some breeds require much less care than others. A collie? Very hard to groom. A dalmatian? Not as hard. More so, you need to be aware of things like how often to trim dog nails, how often to brush their hair, etc.
7. Are you sure you’re not allergic?
Some breeds are hypoallergenic or borderline hypoallergenic but it is still not recommended to get a pet dog if you are allergic to them.
8. Can you dedicate enough time to training?
In their early days, dogs require a lot of training. You have to get them to understand basic commands as well as getting them to know how to act around other dogs and people. This is called training and it requires a lot of time, dedication, and knowledge. You need to be persistent and have a proper schedule for training.
9. Why do you want a pet dog?
Even though we put this question near the end, it’s the first one you should ask yourself.
- I want a loyal companion
- I just love dogs
- I want someone to take care of
- I want to grow my family
- I want to share my love with someone
- I want to make my family and myself happier
- I want to win shows (it’s normal to enter shows, but a dog is a pet 1st and should be treated like a free pet, not just a show participant)
- I just want a profit (it’s okay to be a profitable breeder, but it’s not ethical to have dog breeding as a regular business)
- I’m lonely (a lot of people think that a pet is a cure for loneliness – it’s related but it isn’t 100% accurate)
10. How would you react if your pet does something bad?
We knock on wood that nothing like that ever happens, but you have to be prepared for when your dog just does something that causes trouble. For example, they chew the pillow or knock something over and it breaks. It happens, right? Well, you should discipline them but you shouldn’t punish them too hard. Besides, you can’t get mad too hard, you need to look at it like it’s an opportunity to teach. You need to understand that being too strict or too lenient gets you nowhere. You need to be versatile and to adapt to your dog’s character.
So, do you now think you’re ready to take care of a pet? Don’t worry if you don’t have the best possible mindset just yet. A dog (pet) shares some similarities with a child since first-time parents have to learn a lot of things on the go.
However, their needs always have to come before yours and this means that you have to be willing to sacrifice your free time, put in the maximum physical and emotional effort as well as do your best to take care of them. If you do everything according to plan – everyone wins and everyone is happy!