Top 5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

Getting a dog or puppy is no joke! There are a lot of things to consider before getting a dog. For someone that’s been single, or dog-less (we just call them soulless) for awhile, it can be quite the change. So it’s important to understand what you’re getting into when considering a new dog.

1) Time Commitment – Consider Before Getting a Dog

The #1 thing to consider before getting a dog is simply – your time. Owning a dog requires a significant amount of time and effort for feeding, exercise, training, and grooming. Make sure you have enough time to devote to a new furry companion.

Sure, at first the idea that you’re going to be bound to the care and well being may seem daunting. And reorganizing one’s life is never easy. But, like with any growth, or any worthwhile endeavor – reward requires sacrifice. Sure, you may no longer to go out as much to clubs or bars, but you’ll be substituting those activities for often healthier activities like dog walks, park excursions and of course you’ll be handsomely rewarded with tender moments with your furry loved-one.

As an aside, if one is unable or unwilling to make commitment for their dog (within reason of course) one should really reconsider the idea. I’ve seen many a pet-owner neglect their dog(s) because of other priorities. Remember our dogs lives are 99% what we provide (love attention and care). It’s my opinion that it would be better to simply not have a dog, than have one, but not provide it with the time and attention it needs. And remember your time (and love) are always no cost!

2) Financial responsibility

On a personal level this is one of the more important things people need to consider, particularly in this day and age and this economy. Dogs require a significant financial investment, including the cost of food, veterinary care, and grooming. Make sure you are prepared for the financial responsibility of owning a dog.

3) Living arrangements

Consider if you have the space and resources to accommodate a dog, including a suitable living space and access to a yard or park for exercise. Here breed selection plays a key role. In addition to simple surroundings (such as places to walk or parks) another aspect to consider is your own living quarters and the space accommodations for your dog. A 150 LB great dane might not be too comfortable (for you or your pet) in a 1 bedroom 500 SQFT condo.

4) Lifestyle

Your lifestyle should be taken into consideration when choosing a dog. If you are a busy person, you may want to consider a low-maintenance dog breed. Some dogs are naturally going to require more time and attention than others.

And this plays a key role in the final thing to consider before getting a dog:

5) Training and socialization

Dogs require proper training and socialization to be well-behaved and happy. Make sure you are prepared to invest time and resources into training and socializing your new dog.

I once knew a woman with a huge, hungry, angry pit bull. She had a 9-5 that often put additional pressure on her (she had to work late, and sometimes on weekends). That poor dog was cooped up (literally in a cage because of behavior issues) for 10 hours a day often. A dog like that needs literally hours of run time/day and intense training to ensure it isn’t a dangerous weapon. These kinds of things should definitely be considered when choosing a breed or making the decision on considering taking on the responsibility of a dog.