If you have told yourself ” I want a dog” or ” I need a puppy” and you think your ready then here are a few questions you should ask yourself first to help you determine if your really ready?
- Will you be having a baby in your dogs lifetime?
- If you have children how old are they?
- Who will be responsible of taking care of the dog?
- Does everyone in the house want a dog as much as you?
- Is anyone allergic to animals? If so what will you do?
- Do you rent? If so has the landlord given permission to have a dog?
- Do you have a fenced in yard?
- Can you handle the possible damage to your home that a puppy can cause? Teething on furniture, chewing shoes, peeing and pooping accidents in the house?
- Should you adopt an adult dog if the above question is too much for you to handle?
- What will you do with your puppy/dog all day while you work?
- Will you be able to take vacation from work for a week to bond with your new puppy/dog for the first week you bring it home?
- Do you work from home and have control of your own schedule?
- Do you have the finances to do what it takes to take care of your dog during the first year? Cost of vaccines, spay or neuter, training, meds or surgery if needed, puppy daycare?
- Do you know approx.. what the first year could cost? it can cost anywhere from $1000.00 to $5000.00 ( higher number in an extreme case of illness or injury )
- Have you owned a dog in your adult life?
- Are you willing to use a dog trainer or go to training classes or training in your home?
After you have answered these questions and you are still determined to get a dog here are a few things to think about first before you make a full time commitment.
Check out how dog friendly your neighbourhood is. How friendly are the dogs that live near you? Do you have a dog friendly park close by? Where is the closest vet incase of an emergency? How do you get along with neighbours and are they responsible dog owners?
Choose a dog equal to your energy level or lower. NEVER adopt a dog/puppy that will be too much for you to handle, consider your life style and age. For example if you are a nature lover and love to jog and hike then an English bulldog is not the right choice for that lifestyle.
Consider fostering a dog first. If your having trouble picking a dog or the right breed try fostering before making a lifetime commitment, Fostering is a huge part of rescue and it is a very responsible way to determine if you really are ready for a full time commitment.
Don’t make an emotional decision. When looking to adopt or rescue leave your heart at the door. Now is not the time to fall for the ” sad dog story ” now is the time to decide based on common sense and logic and your true needs and capabilities. Do not get in over your head! Not everyone can do rescue and not every dog is right for everyone, If rescue was easy everyone would do it. So before making a rash decision or an impulse buy please take a few minutes and really think about your life, this is a 15+ year commitment depending on breed and age of the dog you choose so please choose wisely.