My reason for writing this is to help you in your decision making. Not to scare you or anything, but to make sure you are up for the task. Some issues I might exaggerate, but truth is it can be crucial for you and your family that you take this matter seriously.

A lot of people would like a dog in the family, and it is a blessing no doubt. But if you are not ready for the commitment that it really takes for having one, it can also make your life very frustrating and stressful with all that comes with it. From what I can find in research, normally you can expect positive impact on your family members physical and mental health.

Taking a dog into your life/home it’s like having a baby that you must be responsible for, for many years to come, often 10 to 15+ years. Making sure this is right for you and or your family is VERY important to decide before getting one. If you take this lightly it can easily be a disaster for your family and your dog in the future. It is no fun having a dog that you feel is only in your way, making you irritated and high tempered, and take note, there will be some major changes in your life. We want these changes to be positive, right?

You might have an idea of a certain type of dog right now but thinking things through can make you change your decision. Do your homework first, then your chances of being a happy dog owner will increase.

What should you consider before making this decision?

  1. You are going to be responsible for this dog for as long as it lives.
    This can be different depending on what breed you choose, so check that out as well. Normally you would want your dog to live as long as possible, right?

    Being responsible means that you must make sure the dog gets proper training, always thinking of the dog’s wellbeing and making sure it has everything it needs. But also make sure everybody in the family is familiar with the household rules.
  2. You must make sure that your home, inside and outdoors are ready for your dog.
    A good tip is to microchip your dog and make sure that your contact information is kept up to date in case you move. If your dog should wonder of, chance of getting it back and reunited increases immensely. Make sure it can’t just run into the road and that there are no poisonous flowers it can eat.
  3. Can you handle the expenses?
    I am not talking just about the initial cost of buying a dog and feeding it, but also getting the necessities and health care. Everything depends on what kind of breed you choose of course, but the expenses for having a dog can easily cost thousands of dollars per year. You must consider that there might be health issues and veterinarian cost along the way, and this can easily cost a lot of money. Purchasing a pet insurance for your dog can be a good idea to reduce this possible medical risk. Your dog will need vaccines as well and don’t forget all the other things you might want to buy for your dog.

    I recommend making a budget for your dog and see how it fits into your existing household.
  4. It is also a good idea to ask yourself WHY you want to become a dog owner?
    Is it because a child is begging or any other reason? Ask yourself questions and discuss everything in your family. Be serious! Your children and maybe you are getting excited by the thought of getting a dog, and you should be when you have made the decision. Before that just remember what you have to consider first about consequences. The more homework you do the better you will be in the long run.
  5. Do you have the time and the patience to take care of a dog?
    – A dog needs to exercise regularly.
    – You need to take time to train your dog.
    – Need time to play with the dog.
    – Need to clean up after your dog if any accidents and don’t forget doghair on your clothes and carpets and everywhere else for that matter.
    – You need to feed the dog and keep fresh water available at all times.
    – Can you keep calm and assertive about your ground rules when the dog is testing you out?

Hopefully I didn’t scare you off completely, but instead opened your awareness to what you should take under consideration. Having a dog should be a positive experience for the most part, but since you can’t have the positive without the negative, you should be ready for that as well.

Everything is relative, so remember that many of the issues I mentioned above can be reduced or eliminated by the choices you make when looking for the right dog. Don’t eliminate a grown-up dog for a puppy. There are things to consider either way, but a puppy gives you a very different responsibility when it comes to training, behavior and follow up. A puppy isn’t going to stay a puppy forever, and then you will be reaping what you sowed.

If you would consider adopting from a rescue or private shelter, they usually go a long way to make sure you are getting the right dog that fits your personality and lifestyle. And don’t forget you will be saving the dog’s life at the same time as you give another dog a new chance in that open space.

If adopting isn’t for you, then I recommend you contact a reputable breeder, since they also want what is best for the dog. Remember that the puppy that shows the most energy and interest for you, is not necessary your best choice.

What else:
Take time to do some homework before you pick up your new family member. After you read up a little, discuss and agree within your family what the rules will be for you and your dog and stick to it. The dog needs stability more than affection, then it knows what to expect most of the time.

If you still want a dog after reading this, I would say you are readier than most people. Go find your dog and have a happy, healthy and joyful life with your new family member. Otherwise, maybe another type of pet would be a better choice.

Also read: Why You Should Consider Having A Pet In Your Family