There is SO much to consider before taking on the responsibility of a dog.
It’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly and requires you to be brutally honest with yourself about your lifestyle and ability to be 100% committed to a furry family member. Just like any other member of your family, dogs deserve the very best love and care possible!
We’ve compiled a list of the top ten reasons why prospective puppy owners might not be ready for a dog. If you’re considering finding a purebred pup, use this list to help judge your readiness for life as a puppy parent, or share it with a friend or family member who might be thinking of taking the leap.
#1: You Don’t Have Time
Your new best friend is a time commitment. They want to spend time with you. It’s not a rewarding life for a dog spent waiting for an absent owner. If your job requires shift work and means days away at a time with odd hours, think twice before bringing a pup into your life.
Also, remember – it’s not just the daily time commitment: dogs are living longer and your new best friend may be with you for 14 years — or more.
#2: You Don’t Have Enough Money
It’s no secret that having a dog requires some financial commitment.
Regular health care including physical examinations, bloodwork, and stool samples are an annual expense and having a safety net for illness or injury may be helped by pet insurance. The day-to-day expenses include food, treats, toys, grooming, dog walker, boarding, licences, clothing for short coat pups in cold climates, training and sports.
It all adds up – fast! Be sure you’re financially ready to take on the expenses to give your pup the best care possible.
#3: You Don’t Have the Space
Do you have enough space? Tiny places can handle tiny dogs and may not preclude ownership but take serious account of your pup’s exercise requirements. Physical activity is important not only for your dog’s health, but happiness, too!
#4: You Don’t Have a Safe Backyard
Dogs can be escape artists — they’ll find the smallest spots to squeeze through or jump over to make a quick getaway.
Escape-proof backyards are essential for dog owners and this is something that can be overlooked by potential pet parents.
#5: Your Home is a Danger Zone for Clutter
Does your place look like this? For puppies and dogs, this is an accident waiting to happen!
Some breeds like Labs and Golden Retrievers are prone to eating inanimate objects, so beware. Just like babyproofing your home – you need to puppy proof!
#6: You Can’t Make Hard Decisions
Can you make hard decisions about end of life for your pet?
While we focus on the excitement of getting a new dog, we sometimes forget it can be a 15-year commitment that requires us to make tough decisions when we need to say goodbye.
#7: You Travel a Lot
If you have a job that requires frequent travel, keep in mind what you’ll do with your dog when you go.
Don’t only think about the added expense of boarding but consider if it’s also fair to the dog. If you work in foreign service – what will you do with the dog if you are sent overseas for an extended period?
#8: You’re Not Ready for the Mess
Dogs shed, they make messes, they chew things – and while they don’t mean to damage things, they do.
Dogs can do things at an inconvenient time or place – just like kids. Sometimes, they just don’t get what you mean.
Even the best-trained dogs can have accidents sometimes!
#9: You’ve Got Young Children
While some breeds get along well with young children, there are others that will be overwhelmed and uncomfortable around noise and play, even with adequate preparation and training.
This can lead to a host of behavioural problems and prolonged anxiety for your pup – not an ideal situation for anyone involved! All dogs should be able to live their best possible lives, and sometimes that means foregoing pet ownership until our families are in the right season of life.
#10: You’re the Only One Who’s Fully Prepared & Committed
Choosing and owning a dog should involve everyone in the family. If you are single, then it becomes much less complex decision. If you don’t live alone then everyone’s choice and level of commitment matters.
Don’t expect the kids will automatically care for, walk and feed the dog – even though they desperately wanted one! If your patience is already thin and you are already overwhelmed with life, then you’re not ready for a dog.
Owning a dog is one of life’s greatest joys – while they sometimes raise your blood pressure, their unconditional love and desire to be with you can help in the most awful of times. Dogs are our heart – just make sure you can commit yours.