So, you’re thinking about getting a family dog. That’s awesome! Dogs are terrific additions to your family and can provide years of companionship. While it’s exciting to scout for new puppies and shop for new toys, there are some crucial things to consider beforehand. Here are some important things to keep in mind before you welcome a new addition to your family.
Dogs Are a Big Responsibility
We can’t stress this enough: dogs are a lifelong commitment. You need to make sure you’re all ready. Are your kids old enough to take on the responsibility of owning a dog? Are you mentally prepared to train, feed and care for another living being in the midst of your chaotic life?
Dogs, especially puppies, require constant attention and care. You need to prepare yourself for training, accidents in the house, damaged property and lost hours of sleep. Even rescue dogs will need attention and time to become acclimated to their space. In any case, you’ll need lots of patience with your furry friend.
Something else to keep in mind is vet bills. You’ll need to provide your dog with shots and any antibiotics or potential surgeries. The more adventurous dogs tend to get into trouble, so the worst-case scenario is paying or x-rays or surgeries. Even without those, dogs need food, toys, and accessories like leashes and collars. Be sure you’re financially prepared before you acquire your new dog.
Do Your Research on Breeds
There are dozens of dog breeds out there, each with their own special set of personality traits. For example, if you have children in the house, there are dog breeds better equipped to deal with them. Bernese Mountian Dogs, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, and Collies are all good family breeds. Of course, you’ll also want to take into account the size of your new companion. For example, a larger dog won’t have a very good time cooped up in an apartment.
Additionally, some dog breeds are more susceptible to certain health problems. Let’s take a look at a Bernese Mountain Dog. If you didn’t know already, those adorable breeds come with a collection of health issues to be aware of. Progressive retinal atrophy and elbow dysplasia are just two of the common problems to familiarize yourself with.
Pugs, another good family breed, also come with some health issues . Given their tiny little faces, they can have trouble breathing. Their eyes can also be a problem, being more sensitive to infection. While any dog breed can come with its fair share of health issues, you should look into which ones are specific to each breed.
Find a Good Vet
Your research doesn’t only entail looking up dog breeds. Your furry friend will need proper care, so finding a good vet is extremely important. If your dog gets into something, ingests foreign objects, or gets sick, you’ll want a professional on your side. Good vets can also provide you with advice on the best course of action, medications, and food for your breed.
An added bonus is that when you consistently take your dog to the vet, they’ll become more familiar with the face and atmosphere. A good bond with your vet will help your dog feel more relaxed and will make an easier transition for both of you.
Consider Your Lifestyle
Dogs are energetic ! Some more than others, but they’ll need daily walks and mental stimulation to keep them entertained. For example, Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers make good family dogs, but they’re highly energetic. So, if you find yourself at work for most of the day and the kids are in school, take your dog into consideration. You’ll need to look into dog walkers or doggy daycare to ensure they’re not left behind.
As mentioned earlier, you’ll also need to train your dog. So, if you find yourself too busy to make dinner, chances are you’re not going to have the time to train your pet. You want your dog to be familiar with your home’s rules, so you need to put in the proper time. Really sit down and make sure that you’re prepared to take on more responsibilities.
Dogs are fabulous additions to your home. They can bring years of happiness to your family and will undoubtedly put a smile on your face. But, in order to keep them happy, you need to make sure you’re ready for the financial and physical responsibilities of dog ownership. Do your research and ensure you’re up to the challenge!