There are several things that could trigger a pain within you that tells you that it is about time that you get a dog home as your pet. They may range from watching your friend play `fetch’ with his cute puppy in a park that you both visit regularly or you may be walking by a pet store and see a sad-eyed rover looking at you.
Before you start exploring about getting your best new friend home, you have to do a little homework. It is highly rewarding to keep a pet dog in your home but, at the same time, it could be extremely demanding. It is sad, indeed, that many people do not realize this particular fact until it becomes too late for them. It is on account of finding it tough to handle dogs at home that nearly four million of these pets finally end up in dog shelters each year. This startling bit of information comes from ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). However, if you are cognizant of the responsibilities involved and are prepared to give unconditional love to your pet dog; then perhaps, you are ready to begin your hunt for your best friend.
These are four important factors that you have to consider before you getting a dog home:
1. This Relationship Is Going to Be a Long Term One
Before you get a dog home, you have to think about your long-term plans. You may want to start a family and have kids. You may be eyeing that big transfer to your firm’s headquarters in a metro or an ultra urban place and you may have to stay in an apartment that does not allow dogs. You have to consider these long-term plans and then think about how a dog would fit into those objectives of yours. You may be thinking of getting a Yorkshire terrier but you may find out that it may not get along so well with little children. You may have plenty of space in your backyard for a Great Dane to play and run around but if you have to adjust after few years in an apartment that does not offer much space for your dog, it is not going to be an easy adjustment for both.
One of the strongest reasons that dogs finally end up in shelters is when people do not look at a long term relationship; one that goes beyond their current style of life. It’s always good to plan ahead for ten to fifteen years about building a strong relationship before you get a dog.
2. You Will Have to Revolve Your Schedule Around Your Pet Dog
Your current lifestyle may include sleeping very late on weekends or looking forward to head straight to happy hours after a tiring day of work. It is important to change your schedules for your dog will depend on you alone for its food, exercise and its excretions. It is highly fortunate for humans that their pet dogs catch on to the routines that they are taught very fast and they follow these routines punctually. You will have to realize that you cannot be leaving your dog alone for more than eight hours at a stretch unless you have members in your family who could check on the dog regularly and give it the attention it deserves. This rule may apply even for crated dogs as they may have to stretch their legs and go about their bowel movements.
If you want to include travel plans for few days or weeks, then a family member or friends would have to accommodate your dog’s routines for its food and call of nature. You will be lucky if you come across good kennels that will look after your dog when you are gone on a long trip.
3. Your Investment Will Go Beyond the Kibble
When you plan to get a dog for your family, you may have to plan beyond just the price that you pay for getting him or her home. Expenses may arise on an average up to two hundred and fifty dollars a month that may include basics like its food and supplies ranging from crates to bowls and from a bed to a leash. Toys like play bones and medicines will be extra expense. There will be regular checkups with the vet nearby involving vaccinations and worm and flea treatment. If dogs are furry, grooming appointments would have to be factored in.
4. Anticipate the Unexpected When You Bring a Dog Home
Dogs are curious by nature and they like to explore the environment that they are brought in to. You will have to be proactive and careful that you are not leaving things around your house that they may accidentally eat for they may be potentially toxic for them. They may jump off the ledge that you have provided for them as they are generally excited in a new environment. It is worthwhile to think in terms of pet insurance before you get a dog home. The premiums may range from twenty to fifty dollars a month to cover illness, accidents and prescription medications or surgeries.
So, you have to be sure that the dog you get suits your lifestyle as well as your surroundings. If you live in a small apartment, you cannot be thinking in terms of larger dogs because you do not want them to be boxed in and be frustrated. You will have to plan ahead at least for ten years before you make up your mind about the type of dog you want as your best friend in your house.