Can you fit a dog into your life? Are you ready for dog ownership?
For a lot of people, it can often feel like a family really isn’t complete without one final, furry ingredient.
Bringing a dog into your home can truly be one of the most wonderful things that you will ever do, both for you and for your whole family. After all, the sheer amount of joy that a dog can bring into a home is something that is often simply immeasurable.
After all, it can give you some wonderful companionship, it can teach your kids some incredibly valuable responsibility, and it can give you the chance to give a home to an animal that really does need it.
Whether you’re getting a puppy or rescuing an older dog, there’s nothing like being able to bring a furry friend into the fold. However, one thing that a lot of people tend to forget is that it’s not all fun and games when you get a dog.
The reality is that dog ownership is a big responsibility and not one that you should take lightly. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when trying to decide if you can fit a dog into your life.
5 Considerations Before Diving into the Dog Ownership Pool
1 – Adequate Space
One of the major things that a lot of people end up forgetting when it comes to dog ownership is the fact that they will inevitably end up taking up a pretty significant amount of space.
If you’re in a home where space isn’t really a particular premium then an extra body running around under your legs, especially when you have kids, can be a serious source of stress. Now, you might be thinking that the solution to this is to simply get a smaller dog if you live in a smaller space. And sure, that doesn’t make a difference.
But you also need to factor in space for their bed, their food and water bowls, all of their toys, and anything else that they might need. Take an honest look at your home and try to figure out if you really have the space for another member of the family.
2 – Money
Dogs can be expensive. This is just a fact and it’s one that you’re going to have to come to terms with pretty quickly. The most obvious expense when it comes to getting a dog is the cost of actually adopting it in the first place.
If you’re buying a puppy that can cost you a pretty penny but even if you’re rescuing a dog there are often certain fees that you have to be aware of. However, you also need to think about things like how you’re going to pay for things like trips to the vet.
Pet insurance can be a cause of frustration for some but there’s no denying that it’s a superior alternative to the option of paying huge amounts of money every single time your furry friend needs a check-up.
3 – Kids
Kids and dogs can be a truly magical combination. Not only do kids and dogs make the perfectly tireless playmates for each other, but having a dog in the house can also help to teach young children a great deal of responsibility.
It can help them learn to respect and observe boundaries in a way that can often be hard to communicate to very young children. However, it would be irresponsible to deny that there is at least some degree of risk of having dogs and children together.
If your children are too young to be able to understand a dog’s boundaries then that could end very badly. After all, neither of them know that they’re doing something wrong, they’re just acting on their instincts. You need to be sure that your children are old enough to be trusted around dogs if you really want them to be safe.
4 – The Mess
There’s no denying it, dogs make a mess. They have the potential to tear up their toys and leave chunks of them everywhere, they can dig your garden, and they can bring in little “presents” for you from outside.
However, the biggest issue when it comes to mess is a little… smellier than the rest. Pet waste disposal is hardly the most glamorous part of pet ownership but it’s something that you have to do. Luckily, there are plenty of services that can deal with that sort of thing for you. Once, you’ve got them house trained of course.
5 – Time Invested
Most of us lead pretty busy lives but the truth is that most dogs need a lot of attention. This is especially true for puppies who need training. You need to be sure that you have the time to dedicate to your dog.
The last thing you want is for them to be stuck at home miserable all day long without any entertainment. If you do have to work, it’s important you find ways to make sure that your dog gets plenty of entertainment and exercise.
The Bottom Line on Owning a Dog
Now, reading this you might be tempted to feel as though it’s there to discourage you from getting a dog or to try and convince you that getting a dog is somehow a bad idea. However, that’s not the case.
The truth is that dog ownership is too big a responsibility for you to try to take on without really considering the weight of what it is that you’re doing.
It’s a sad fact that a pretty significant number of dogs that get adopted often end up getting returned, passed on, or even abandoned, simply because the people who adopted them weren’t ready for everything that came with it.
For most people, the wonderful aspects of having a well-adjusted dog outweigh any challenges that it might bring, but if you’re not fully aware of what those challenges are, then you could well end up in a position where you have simply taken on more than you can handle.
At least if you’re prepared, you’re ready to take on the challenges of dog ownership. And you and your family can get on with the much more positive task of giving your new furry friend as much love as possible.