So, before you rush out to your local shelter to pick out a dog or send a deposit to a breeder for a new puppy, ask yourself these 4 questions.
1. Do you feel confident that you will have room in the budget not just now but for years to come?
To know if it's the right time to have a new puppy or dog, it's wise to first have a good look at your income, financial responsibilities, and your spending habits.
Getting a dog does involve an initial expense; however, it goes far beyond that.
For at least a decade, and longer in many cases, you'll need to be able to pay for dog food, care items (bowls, leashes, collars or harnesses, grooming items, toys, etc.) and veterinary bills.
Some pet owners try to save money by avoiding yearly wellness checks at the vet; however, this can lead to more bills down the line due to health issues not being caught early.
The cost of taking care of a dog depends on the quality of the care items that you'll be purchasing and variations of store pricing.
If you expect to have at least $200 a month for both ongoing costs and starting an emergency vet fund, this is a good start to knowing if you're ready to have a new dog or puppy.
2. Is your home pet friendly?
Not all dogs need large yards to run and play, and in fact toy breed dogs can do just fine in small apartments. However, there are other things to look at.
You'll want to have an easily accessible outdoor area for the dog's bathroom needs. Since daily exercise is important for dogs, there should be an area for daily walks.
While dogs can enjoy an active and large family, most do not do well with chaotic or stressful households, so this should be considered as well.
You'll also want enough room so that the family (both humans and pets) do not feel crowded. And the puppy or dog should have his own area for resting, sleeping, indoor play, and eating.
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3. Do you have time for a dog? It is quite common for owners to be away from home for work, school, or other responsibilities.
However, you'll want to know that you have time to spend with your new pet if you do get a puppy or dog.
Will you have time each day for walks? Grooming? One-on-one time for play and perhaps command training?
Dogs love human interaction and do not do well when isolated the majority of the time.
4. Does your urge to get a dog go beyond just thinking that dogs are cute?
Dogs are indeed cute. But, they can also have barking issues, housebreaking issues, and marking problems.
A teething puppy may nip and an adopted adult may not like children.
It's more common to have a dog with a few issues and quirks than a perfectly behaved canine family member.
To know if it's the right time to get a new puppy or dog, think about how you feel about having a dog every single day, through good times and bad, without any breaks in pet ownership.
If you've answered 'yes' to these four questions this is a great sign that you are ready to bring a new puppy or dog into your home.
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