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Do you dream of owning a dog someday? Still not sure? Well, today we will help you make a decision. Should I get a dog? Is one question people keep wondering about and are never able to make the decision.
Getting a dog is never an impromptu decision. It requires months or even years of research and an extremely strong will to bring a dog home. By research we mean to say that knowing how your life will change if you get a dog and this research needs a lot of time.
Having a four-legged friend is actually no different then having a baby. Our views of getting a dog are always positive, we recommend you should get one. But before that we would want you to know why and how your life will change after bringing a dog home.
Keep scrolling and understanding, we promise you would have surely made a decision by the end of this article.
Why You Should Adopt A Dog?
Before asking yourself that Should I get a dog? You should really be asking yourself Should I adopt a dog or buy a dog? There are so many benefits of adopting a dog instead of buying one.
The major benefit of adoption is you will be saving a life. We at Dog Is World strongly suggest you to adopt a dog and not buy one. Before getting a dog, we would like you to explore the emotional joys of adoption.
Adopting is more important for many reasons specially to stop the unwanted and heart-breaking euthanizing of dogs. Millions of dogs are euthanized just because their shelter or rescue group cannot afford the maintenance of so many dogs.
Even if you want to get a dog of a specific breed that is possible too. There are literally all breeds of dog available for adoption all you need to do is have patience and search for your preferred breed.
Also, adopting is way to cheaper than buying a dog so it won’t cost you a bomb to get your favorite breed home. When you adopt a dog, a space frees up and some unfortunate little champ can find shelter in there.
Adopting a dog and giving it a home forever can also make your soul happy as you will forever be proud of yourself for giving a dog the home, he/she deserves.
Should I Get A Dog?
Whether you decide to adopt or shop, you will be bringing home a living thing which requires full attention and care. Our answer to this question may be positive but it is you who needs to decide, based on your lifestyle choices.
Initially, a dog may disrupt your current routine and also your whole lifestyle. Everything is new for you and the dog, which means you need to be more than careful and able to care of yourself, and the dog.
Dog’s take a while to adjust in new surroundings and so will you, to adapt to the dog’s habits and traits. However, we humans have the power and control to teach and train these furry buddies and make both our lives better.
If you stumble upon some cute pictures and videos of dogs over the internet and their cuteness makes you think, should I get a dog? it is exactly what you don’t want to be thinking.
Falling for a dog’s cuteness is very natural but dogs are beyond that cuteness. Living with them can fill your life with “Aww-worthy” moments but that’s not all. Their cuteness makes human hearts melt and many dog parents commit serious mistakes by falling for their dog’s cuteness.
Did you know dog parents overfeed their puppies just because they look cute while eating? A puppy eating food can look very cute but overfeeding them can cause serious digestive issues for them or they can grow obese.
By the end of this article if you agree to bring home a puppy do read our puppy feeding guide. Feeding plays the most important role in a dog’s development and as new or first-time owners you will need to be extra careful of a puppy’s feeding pattern.
Below we have a detailed description of how your life will change once a dog comes along. What changes you need to make before bringing a dog home and which are the best dog breeds that match your life preferences.
All of this will surely clear all your doubts about getting a dog and you won’t be left wondering, should I get a dog?
Things to Consider Before Bringing A New Dog Home
When you ask yourself should I get a dog? Do you feel a little intimidated? If yes, then it is actually a good sign. To feel a little intimated, not by the animal but the responsibilities that come with it, is absolutely normal.
Not only the responsibilities but a major shift in your routine lifestyle can also be daunting. There are many things to consider before you really bring a dog home and into your life. Below are the things you need to consider and think through before you get a dog.
The first thing to consider is your willingness to get a dog. You should never get a dog if you think the reason to get one is based on how cute dogs are. Dogs are surely cute but they need a lot of your time, attention and efforts.
Your willingness to provide them with all the care, attention and put the efforts in it is considered as your willingness. Do not get a dog just for its cuteness because sooner or later their cuteness will stop exciting you.
Their care-taking may become a burden and you will want to give-up the dog, what many people have already done. Willingness to commit to your dog forever and take care of it is the one thing you will need the most.
2. Is Your Family on board for Bringing a Dog Home?
When you think of getting a dog you should make sure that everyone in your family is okay with having a dog in the house. There can one or all the members in the house who do not want the dog.
Some of the members in your family may fear dogs and despite knowing this if you get a dog for your own happiness that can be really mean of you. A dog in the house won’t have an impact your life alone. Your family should also be willing to welcome a dog home.
So, before you get a dog, talk to your family first and make sure you all are on the same page.
3. Lifestyle Changes
How your life will change with a dog in the house depends on your work-life balance. It would be fooling yourself of you think you have the perfect work-life balance.
When a dog comes in your life you will have to take care of someone else too and not you alone. Dogs need proper feeding schedules, fixed walks and exercise times, playtime, grooming, visits to the vet and a lot more.
To be able to manage all this and also your work and personal life is the biggest task many people fail at. However, it is not some absolutely unachievable goal but initially these lifestyle changes can be very exhausting. But if you think about it and find a way to juggle all these things, you’re good to go.
4. Potential Costs of Dog Maintenance
When you are on good terms with the idea of accepting major lifestyle changes you should also think about the financial commitment that a dog will need.
There are so many expenses that come with a dog the biggest and regular expense is food. Then the monthly veterinarian visits, grooming, obedience training and what not.
If you are a two people with busy work schedules you may need an alternate care taker or dog walker. This only adds to the existing expenses. Expenses like food, the vet, grooming care products are unavoidable and recurring costs.
Before getting a dog, you may want to make peace with all the amount you will be spending on your dog on a monthly basis. The estimated annual cost or potential cost of owing a dog can be anywhere between $700 to $1500, depending on the breed size.
5. Do you want a puppy or an adult dog?
90 out of every 100 people will want to get a puppy because they think shaping a puppy into a perfect dog is the ideal way to raise dogs. Sadly, they miss out all the extra efforts and extra time that goes into taking care of the puppies. According to research and surveys, puppies are harder to handle than adult dogs.
Puppies need a lot of obedience training and even more care, attention and more efforts. Adopting adult dogs also has its own ups and downs but comparatively they are lesser work than puppies.
The depending on the level of time and efforts, you may also want to decide if you want a small breed, a medium-sized breed or a large dog breed. The difficulty of handling dog also rises according to their sizes.
This is one point you should never ignore when the, should I get a dog? question pops in your head.
6. Pick a Dog That Suits Your Lifestyle
If you are truly willing, have your family on board, have decided if you want a puppy or an adult dog now you’ve got to decide which dog suits your lifestyle. Yes! There are dogs that suit your lifestyle.
Suiting your lifestyle involves the personality and temperament of dogs. What are they like, are they active or are they introverts? there is much more to check in a dog breed. For a detailed description of any of your preferred breed you can visit dog breed.
What Dog Should I Get?
Well, the easiest and most fun way to find this out you can play a quiz. Yes! a quiz, a dog breed selector quiz helps you find the most appropriate dog breed that suits your lifestyle.
When you think, should I get a dog? most probably it is followed with what dog should I get? Choosing a breed can be quite a task. To make it easier we have dog breed options that are the best dogs for you depending on your lifestyle.
Choosing the right breed can make it much easier for you to understand and handle your new pet.
Best Dogs for First-Time Owners
The best dog breed for first-time owners are breeds which are either small or medium-sized. The size of the breed matters as they are easy to manage and their growing size won’t scare you as a first-time dog owner.
If you ask us, we would say that the Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador, Pug are some of the best dogs to be owned by novice owners. These are just three of the best breeds here are 6 best dogs for first time owners.
The in-depth explanation about why dog breed matters will help you make the best decision of your life.
The Best Dogs for Families
Practically, there is no such thing as a good dog or a bad dog. It is all about the dog breed and its suitability in families. Some dogs are good for families while others are not.
However, it depends on how you have trained your dog but some breeds are still not recommended for first-time owners. Dogs that are indeed best dogs for families are Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, Beagle.
Some of the giant breeds like the Saint Bernard and Newfoundland are great as family dogs. The only problem with larger breeds is that they are not for the novice, experienced owners can easily welcome them in families.
If you have kids in the house here are 15 best dogs for kids in the house.
The Best Dogs for Apartments
More than half of the population in the world live in apartments. Apartments can be spacious or cramped, the space of your apartment cannot stop you from getting a dog.
Any dog that can easily live in apartments is the one for you. There is not one but many dog breeds that are apartment-friendly. Namely the Greyhound, Beagle, Pug, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and almost all the smaller fluff balls.
Apartment-friendly dogs are blessings in disguise because they don’t specifically need a yard and even a limited space is enough for them. These dogs fit in the apartments pretty good and they are sure to occupy more space in your heart rather than your apartment.
Adoption Formalities and Costs
The adoption formalities or process can be a little time-consuming but the process must be followed. Dog adoption is also not free of cost. You have to pay and adoption fee which can range from $50-$150 or higher.
Other costs can include the dog’s vaccination (if they are not vaccinated) some shelters already vaccinate the dogs. Then the cost for a dog licence. Rest all expenses are of their basic needs like food and grooming products.
The adoption process involves filling out an adoption form and submitting it at the shelter you from where you wish to adopt. Then comes an interview session with the shelter’s counselor.
After you pass the interview and the dog you chose fits in your family according to the shelter’s counselor, you need to pay the adoption fee and Voila! You’ve gotten a dog for yourself.
Things to Do After Bringing A New Dog Home
Now that you’ve come so far reading and knowing the things to consider before getting a dog, let us have a look at things to consider after getting a dog.
These things will give you and insight of how and what changes are important once you start living with a dog. The “after” is even more important than “before” the dog comes along.
1. Make Your House Dog-Friendly
There are a ton of changes you have to get done before you bring your pooch home. Making your house dog-friendly lies exactly between the before and after changes.
Your house needs to “doggy-ready” at least a week or 2 days before the dog comes in. Keep all the expensive home décor far away from a dog’s reach or at least “not in its way”.
You can use childproof-latches for doors so that dog cannot have access to extra food or any chemical-based thing that can harm it. Once your dog is home, start storing food on high shelves so the dog cannot reach it.
Make sure you cover the garbage or keep it away from a dog’s reach. Get a crate or dog bed and start training them from day 1 to sleep in their spot. You can also try moving or getting rid of unwanted furniture, this will free up some space for the dog.
Making your house dog-friendly is in a way similar to baby-proofing, oops! dog-proofing the house. Once you get a dog you may also understand that a dog and a human baby are actually similar to handle and manage.
2. Give them time to settle in their new home
Like us humans, even dogs should be given sometime to settle in new environments. Usually, a dog may not take more than a whole day to get used to its new surroundings. But in some cases, a dog may need more time and it should be allowed any amount of time it requires.
Do not rush into teaching them things and making them behave like you would want them to. First, let them take a full house tour to understand and sniff things out. This makes them more confident in trusting you and the place.
If a dog is very shy or scared, either leave them alone for a while or pet them as long as they don’t feel safe in their new space. Sometimes, the dog might take more time to adjust to the humans in the house rather than the house itself. Do not worry, this is absolutely normal.
Some dogs might get familiar with a place in hours and just own the house, while others may get shy or panic in a new place. No matter what the case is, give them time, and take your time too in adjusting and adapting to the dog and his personality.
3. Select a Veterinarian
Like selecting the perfect dog for your lifestyle, finding the perfect veterinarian for the dog is also important. After all, a dog that matches your life preferences should need the best medical attention, shouldn’t it?
Selecting a vet is really important for two reasons. One, your dogs the best of everything especially the medical attention. Two, your dog should be comfortable around the vet and allow them to easily do their job.
Almost all dogs, hate the veterinarian clinics and possibly the veterinarians too. But some vets are just like magicians and even the dogs love them. Well, practically you won’t always get the best medical magician but selecting the best from the lot is what we can try and find.
Get your dog vaccinated and checked as per its card schedule. Also, the vet expenses are going to be regular (monthly) and your money and the dog’s health are nothing worth compromising.
4. The first few days with a new puppy/dog
If you have gotten an adult dog home chances are, they will settle in quickly. But if you have brought a puppy home you will need a lot of caring to do. Puppies can be a mess and a lot of work on Day 1 or for the first few days.
They will start the sniffing and even the smallest of things can possibly scare a puppy. When puppies are in a new place, they may feel scared unnecessarily just because of the new vibe.
They will bark, howl or whine, chew anything they find and pee and poop anywhere they like. Puppies can bring a along a lot of cleaning work to do and this can continue till they fully trained.
This why obedience training should be started from Day 1 for puppies as they will take more time than adult dogs to learn and adjust. Adult dogs can be a lot of work too but they comparatively smarter than puppies and this makes the training process a little easier.
For the first few days, your puppy will be sleeping more and you will be sleeping a little less than usual. A puppy or a dog’s initial behavior can also vary from puppy-to-puppy or dog-to-dog.
5. Make a feeding schedule
No matter whether yours is a puppy or dog, make a feeding schedule and stick to it. Your new pooch will take sometime to adapt the new feeding schedule but dogs get used to it soon.
A feeding schedule also doesn’t involve only feeding times, it also involves their walk, exercise and playtime schedule. If the schedule is followed properly your furry friend will forever be used to it and it will take care of their digestion.
With proper feeding there should also be proper drinking schedule, water is equally important for your dog make sure they drink enough water. A new or novice owner may not be able to manage so many things at once.
This is when a feeding schedule comes in handy. With your dog even you will be obliged to follow their schedule and this can make things easier for you to remember and manage.
Always, feed your dog high nutritional food and premium quality dog food.
Feeding schedule for a puppy is specially more important. Once your puppy adapts to its eating times, walk time and playtime everything becomes easier for the puppy and its human.
6. Housetrain your dog
Housetraining your dog involves teaching them their off-limits. A dog will do as you teach or just do its own thing. Teaching them what they can and cannot do is very important.
You need to start by teaching them basic commands like Sit, Stay, No or Go. Slowly, the dog needs to taught to sit and sleep in their own spot in the house. Of course, your dog will follow you everywhere and lay around with you in bed or sit on the couch. But at the end of the day your dog must sleep in its bed or its spot in the house.
Potty training your dog is also important as without that they may just soil your bed or ruin your furniture and the whole house can smell bad. Housetraining teaches your dog to not cross its limits and eases your burden of cleaning any mess.
7. Understand and learn about Dogs in Heat
Dogs in heat is one concept that many people are still unaware of. Dogs in heat means a dog reaching its sexual maturity and being further able to reproduce.
Before, getting a dog you should know everything about female dogs in heat and male dogs in heat. Only female dogs go in heat, while the male reaches sexual maturity.
If you get a female dog you should be aware of dog periods and how to handle your female dog in heat. This is one topic that people lack knowledge about and handling dogs in heat becomes really tough. Especially for first-time dog owners.
Learning about dogs in heat makes it easier for dog owners to deal with it after the dog is brought home.
8. Consider potential health threats
Dog are at a very high risk of developing gastrointestinal health issues, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, cancer, ear and skin infections and much more.
When you get a dog start grooming them on a routine and make sure that nothing goes unchecked or is neglected. Grooming mistakes usually cause skin and ear infections.
Check what your dog is eating, knowingly or unknowingly your dog can consume harmful foodstuffs or other hazardous items. This the biggest potential health threat a dog possesses.
Knowing your dog’s medical history before adoption or reading about a breed’s possible health issues can help in avoiding preventable health issues.
9. Observe, React and Repeat
Despite, all the research, reading, counselling your experience with your dog will always be unique and different from the rest.
The best thing you can do as a responsible dog parent is to observe your dog, react on anything that requires your attention and repeat the process.
Now, when you think should I get a dog? you should also think of your individual efforts in observing and reacting for the benefit of your dog.
A Dog is a Man’s best friend, sure, but a Man needs to be the dog’s best friend too.
Let Go When It Is Time
This is the hardest part of a dog owner’s life.
When you have played all your part right and built a bond that you could never before with anyone else.
When the one that started from a little pup and became your best friend has to go, it can be disheartening.
You seem to forget all the hard times you went through with it. You seem to look for its mark in your house.
The chewed-up corners of the furniture don’t infuriate you anymore but it reminds you that there used to be a good friend here.
You realize that nothing has ever shown love to you in such a selfless manner as your pet and in your memories, it rests.
Keeping a pet can be hectic and mundane sometimes as the routine goes on and grows on you but at the end what you achieve is a wonderful friend who loves you more than anything and looks after you like a watchful protector.
All in all, it is an experience everyone should go through at least once in their life as it makes you learn a lot and reveals many things about life and death that you didn’t know.
The next time you happen to come across a cute fluff ball on the internet or in person do not think, should I get a dog, just for its cuteness. Think sensibly and act responsibly by considering all the above-mentioned aspects of before and after bringing a dog home.
Go ahead, only if you are confident that you can surely take care of a dog, without compromising on your own life or the dog’s comfort.
If so, then CONGRATULATIONS! You are highly eligible to get a dog.
We hope your question should I get a dog? is now answered and that you are no more just wondering about it. If your answer is a yes, then let us know when and which dog are you bringing home. If it’s a no, we are glad you took the best decision for both you and the dog.
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Happy Petting to You Guys!