Are You Ready for Dog Ownership? Asking the Important Questions
A lot of people, when considering getting a dog, only focus on the positive aspects of dog ownership. They think about the fun-filled walks, the couch cuddles, and the loving companionship. However, these are just the highlights of owning a dog, which is a 24/7 commitment.
If you are pondering upon getting a dog, it is important to consider whether you would make a good owner right now. Each and every dog can have drastically different needs. When potential owners do their homework, they can find pets whose needs best match their abilities and lifestyles. Even the best match, however, must come along at the right time in an owner’s life.
Are you thinking of adding a new friend to your life? Ask yourself these questions to determine whether now’s really the right time.
Why Do You Want a Dog?
Many people want a dog for their kids to experience the joys and responsibilities of dog ownership. Others adopt because they want to help a dog in need. Some people long for the companionship a dog offers or have an interest in entering a dog in obedience trials or shows.
None of these reasons alone are good enough to get a dog. You must want to bring this particular dog into your life and fully understand what the care entails. Getting a dog is not unlike having a child; you need to be prepared to devote much of your time and money to caring for them.
Timing and Lifestyle
If children in the household are younger than five, it may be smart to wait before getting a dog. Even the best-natured dogs may growl or bite in reaction to having their ears or tails pulled. Larger dogs can also inadvertently knock over small children.
Additionally, consider your own personal circumstances:
- Do you have enough time for a dog?
- Do you work long hours?
- Can you bring your dog to work with you?
- Can you make it home during the day for a quick walk?
- Do you have any roommates or other people in the house to care for the dog?
- Does your job require you to travel frequently?
- Can you afford to care for the breed you have chosen? (Some breeds tend to need more veterinary care than others)
You must be willing to fulfill all your dog’s needs, even when it’s inconvenient for you. Your dog still needs to be taken out, exercised, and fed. All dogs need daily companionship and stimulation to remain emotionally and mentally content. You must spend quality time with them everyday.
Environment and Support
Many apartment buildings have very specific requirements relating to breed and size. Even if you are certain that dogs are allowed, be sure to get it in writing.
Your home environment must complement the breed you choose such as breeds that need to be outdoors often, require specific temperatures, exercise regimes, or an accommodating yard. If even just one of these is not up to par, it can majorly disrupt other parts of the dogs well being.
The entire household should be involved in the decision-making process, with a place in place. Who will share the responsibility of caring for and training the dog? A proper support system is a must. Vets and trainers can be valuable resources for information, but occasionally you will most likely need some help from friends and family.
When looking for a dog, avoid selecting a dog based on appearance alone. You may love the look of a certain breed, but each breed and individual dog has its own unique needs, and not all lifestyles are suitable for all breeds. You may love the look of a husky, but a studio apartment in Arizona probably wouldn’t be the best place to raise one.
This guide isn’t meant to scare anyone away from dog ownership. We just want to make sure that you and your dog will have the best possible experience. Adopting a dog can be an absolutely wonderful and fulfilling experience for you and the dog. However, it’s not an experience to be taken lightly. From Dog Bite Liability Insurance to training to veterinary and food costs, you have to be ready to put the time, money, and commitment to raising this dog.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.