How to Know if Your Family is Ready to Get a Dog
If you’re thinking about getting a dog, although they can make a wonderful addition to the family, there are several important factors to consider. Dogs need space, exercise, and attention as part of a loving home, and you need to make sure you can provide this. Discuss the issue with the entire family to ensure everyone’s on board. Owning a dog is very rewarding but it can also affect how you spend your free time and budget. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you decide whether you’re ready to get a dog.
How much space do you have?
Dogs need space to exercise and play otherwise they will get bored and frustrated. You can choose a dog breed according to the space you have. For example, if you’re lucky enough to have a big yard you could get a larger breed. In a more modest home, a smaller dog may be better. Even if you take your dog out for plenty of walks, it will need some outdoor space at home. If you can’t provide this you could get a different pet such as a cat.
Do you have enough free time?
One of the reasons why your family should get a dog is that they encourage you to go out, exercise, and spend time together. They will take up a fair amount of your free time, however. You can rotate walking the dog if you like, but it’s important to ensure you can fit this into your daily family schedule. You also need to bear in mind holidays and vacation time, as you’ll need a pet sitter for this if you go away.
Which type of dog would you prefer?
There are many breeds of dogs and the majority make excellent pets for families. There are a few different things to consider. Would you rather get a puppy or an adult dog, for example? There are pros and cons of each. Is there a particular reason you’re considering getting a dog, such as for security purposes? If this is the case, you could consider Family Protection Dogs. Prepare a list of your priorities and choose the type of dog that aligns with these and according to the home you can provide.
Can you commit in the long-term?
Although the life expectancy of dogs can vary, owning one is a long-term commitment. On average they will live for at least ten years, but this also depends on the age of the dog when you get it. Either way, you need to be prepared to provide a loving home for a number of years and ensure a stable situation for your new dog.
Have you discussed it as a family?
It’s not a good idea to get a dog for the children alone. Ideally, all family members need to be on board. Afterall, it’s often the adults who are mostly responsible for walking, paying for, and feeding the dog. There’s no real appropriate childhood age to get a family dog. It’s more dependent on the attitude of your children and everyone else in the family. Some small children may be perfectly comfortable with dogs, whereas others will need to get used to them. However, the exact same thing could be said about teenagers. It really depends on the family.
Do you have other pets?
You will also need to bear in mind your other pets if you’re considering getting a dog. Dogs can live in harmony with many other animals, but introducing a new one could disrupt the environment at first. If you already have a pet, speak to your vet about getting a dog and they’ll be able to provide you with professional insights. There are also plenty of useful resources online. Here is a guide on how to introduce new dogs to other pets in the family.
Can you budget for a dog?
Dogs cost money, so it’s essential to make a realistic budget before deciding to get one. Here is a basic cost guide to give you an idea. The cost of owning a dog can vary but you’ll always need to pay for food, vet bills, insurance, grooming, and pet sitting options. Whereas dog food and toys don’t tend to be expensive, other things can add up. If you’ve thought about the space, time, and budget you can provide carefully, then your family might be ready to get a dog. Once you’re sure, they can make a lovely addition to your home.