There might come a time when you and your family are ready to take on the responsibility of looking after a dog. This is not something that should be decided in an instant; you’ll need to take a lot of things into consideration before you bring a dog into your home, not just for your sake but for the animal as well. A dog needs a caring, loving home where it will be looked after in the right way; you need to be sure you can offer that and enjoy the process. With that in mind, if you are starting to think that having a dog might be a great idea, you’ll need to take plenty of things into account; here are some ways to get started.
Do Your Research
The very first thing you need to do before you commit to getting a dog is to research everything you can about it. That means understanding what it is dogs need, what you’ll need to do, and even what breed of dog you might want (once you know, this will mean you can do even more research, as every dog breed has different requirements). Plus, don’t forget to decide whether you want to adopt or buy. There are pros and cons to every argument, and you need to do what is right for you, and that’s why research is important.
Research won’t just help you understand what you need to put in place before you bring a dog into your home; it will also help you determine whether you should bring one home at all. There is no shame in changing your mind when you realize what’s involved; it’s far better to know in advance that being a dog owner isn’t for you than to realize too late.
Know Your Budget
Once you know that you’re ready to get a dog, and you know what you’ll need to do to ensure that you get things right, you’ll need to check your budget. Even if you are adopting a dog, there will be costs involved, and if you are buying one, you’ll definitely have to look at spending a fair amount of money. Can you afford to get a dog?
Plus, the costs associated with your new pet don’t end once you pay the money to take it home with you. You’ll need to buy bedding and toys, for example, and you’ll need to buy food every week. Then there is the cost of insurance (which, although not mandatory, is a very good idea) and vet bills. What about when you go on vacation? Will you have a pet sitter or use a boarding kennel? Both of these cost money, and taking your dog with you can often be more expensive too. Buying a dog is not a cheap thing, and you need to ensure you can pay the ongoing costs associated with pet ownership.
Prep Your House
Assuming everything is good, and you are sure you can take care of a dog, you’ll need to make sure your home is prepped before you actually get them. Start with the backyard; is it a safe space for your dog to be in? You might need to install a DogWatch Fence, for example, to prevent the dog from running off and getting lost. You should also remove any sharp objects that a dog might get injured on.
Inside, you’ll also need to make some changes. Firstly, ensure you have the bedding and food you’ll need for the first few days – your dog will be confused and need comfort, and you’ll need to be there with them, so it’s best to have everything in advance. Make sure you move anything that a dog might chew to a higher place until they are trained.