Getting a dog may be a rite of passage for many families, even those without children. A dog is an excellent companion, they tend to turn into family members, and they can do all sorts of great things for you, including helping people with disabilities. However, owning a dog isn’t all fun.
There is a lot that goes into dog ownership, from expenses to training, and everything in between. If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog, whether you want a puppy or you plan to adopt an adult dog, here are some things to keep in mind before you take the leap.
They Are Going To Need Training
No matter what age your dog is, they will need some training. Each dog has its own quirks, and while you probably won’t need to potty train an adult dog they may still need some obedience training. You may find your adopted dog needs help with food aggression, socialization, and other issues as well. There’s no way to know this until you’ve spent adequate time with the dog.
Puppies need extra training because they not only need to be socialized and potty trained, but you also want to make sure they aren’t chewing up your shoes, barking incessantly, or misbehaving in any other way. And you might want to teach them a trick or two, which takes time and concentration on your part and the pup.
Dogs Are Not Cheap
One thing many people don’t realize until it is too late is that owning a dog is not a cheap endeavor. Dog food costs money (and the bigger the dog, the more they’ll eat), they’ll need a collar and leash, plus toys for all ages. You want to buy them treats to use to reward them when they are in training. But those aren’t even the expensive parts.
If you want to have a happy and healthy dog they need regular visits to the veterinary clinic. There are vaccinations they’ll need, plus the vet will monitor your dog’s weight, dental matters, and more. Preventative medicine can help keep your dog in your family for a longer time than not having them cared for.
What Happens When You’re Not Home?
You also need to consider how much time your dog will be spending at home alone, and how they will be spending that time. For one thing, dogs crave attention, and if there is no one around to give them attention, they will do all they can to get themselves in trouble (by doing things like tearing up furniture or going to the bathroom indoors). If there is never anyone home, don’t get a dog.
Obviously, people work and kids go to school, so while you have the eight hours away make sure your dog has something to do and someplace safe to be. Consider crate training, for one thing. Also, make sure they have a toy or a rawhide to keep them occupied.