There are always times in everyone’s life where you may feel like something is missing from your family. Even if you lead a happy life with your spouse, significant other or children, there are times where you may feel like the addition of a pet into your home would make everything complete. For many people, owning a pet is something that occurred during childhood when the main responsibilities fell onto someone else as you were growing up. As an adult, there are many things you need to consider when you are getting a pet, in particular a dog. When you are thinking of adding a new dog to your family, you need to consider several factors and prepare things properly before simply bringing a dog home.
Things to Consider
There are many things that you need to consider first before you actually get a dog. First, if you are in a family setting, you need to be sure that everyone is on board with adding a new member to your family. Having a dog can be a lot of fun for some people, but there are others who may not be cut out to be dog owners. Not everyone feels comfortable around having a dog and you do not want to bring a dog into a situation where there is fear or resentment towards your pet. This can set up confrontational situations that can end very badly for everyone if they are not taken care of properly. Make sure you sit down and discuss all the pros and cons and the responsibilities of having a pet in the family to make sure everyone is in agreement about a dog.
You next need to consider the type of lifestyle you lead and how this will be affected by having a dog. Having a pet is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. If you are getting a puppy, there is a great deal of responsibility that goes along with taking proper care of the pet. You need to be ready to devote a lot of time to training the dog properly so it fits in well to your atmosphere and with your family. You also need to be willing to devote time and attention to your pet. They are more than just an ornament for your family; they are part of your family and need to be treated as such. Make sure you have the time and energy to put into dog ownership before you take the next step.
Once you know you have the time to do it, you need to decide what type of dog fits best into your family and living arrangements. You need to give this serious consideration as not every breed is perfect for every living situation. You may have always wanted to have a big dog in your life but perhaps the breed you really like is not suited best for your tiny apartment. Likewise, the breed you may like best may not be well suited for families with small children. You need to take all of that under advisement when you are choosing what breed will work best with the way you lead your life. Also, some independent dogs deal well with being left alone during the day, which may work well in your situation when you are at work for hours or no one is home during school hours. On the other hand, certain small dogs need constant company and companionship in order to be healthy and not nervous or develop separation anxiety. Do some research (use our breed selector) and due diligence to see what dog best fits into your lifestyle and family profile when you are choosing a breed.
Adopt or Buy?
Okay, now you know what you are looking for but you need to set about finding the dog for your family. You should decide if you are going to want to try and adopt a dog or if you want to purchase a dog from a breeder. There are thousands of dogs who would be happy to find a new home through adoption and many towns have shelters that are filled with animals that are looking for a loving home. Check out some of the shelters in your area and see if you can find a dog that suits your criteria and fills your family’s needs. Keep in mind that most dogs in shelters are older and some may have come from homes where they were treated badly and may need some extra love and attention. You need to think about whether you want to take on any added responsibilities of health problems or other problems that can come with an adopted dog, but many dogs that are adopted are so grateful to have a new family that they quickly adapt to a new situation and home with little problem.
If you have your heart set on a puppy, you need to make sure you go through a reputable breeder. This will take some more research on your part but you will be thankful for the effort you need to put in down the road. Check out any breeders you are considering and make sure they do not have complaints against them for mistreating dogs or selling dogs that are not healthy. You should always visit the breeder directly to see the living conditions of any dog you are considering and meet the dogs in person to make sure they are healthy and that you get along with the dog you have chosen.
Before you bring your dog home to spend its life with your family, make sure you have prepared your home properly for your new dog. Give your dog a space that is all its own so they have a comfortable place to be. For many people, setting up a crate for your dog at first is a great way for training and to give a dog its own space. Once your dog is home with you, make sure you stick with proper training (e.g. potty training and crate training). This will make your dog a better life companion for yourself and your family.
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. ― Josh Billings