A dog can bring you years of companionship, fun, and affection. However, owning one is a major responsibility. Thinking about your life and circumstances before making any major decisions is a smart approach to take.
Consider the Differing Time Requirements
Start by realizing that all dogs need time devoted to them. However, the amounts vary depending on the breed and temperament of the animal. The age of the dog can make a difference, too.
Many puppies, regardless of breed, are extremely energetic in the earliest stages of life. However, some of them calm down as they become older. Moreover, dogs may be extremely shy and quiet, particularly if they did not receive the required socialization from a young age or suffered abuse and neglect in a previous home.
Decide how much time you can reasonably devote to a dog. Then, when taking the next step of looking for a suitable canine as an addition to your family, take those specifics into account. If you’re considering getting an animal from a shelter, ask the employees for details about its former living arrangements, if available. Determine how what you can offer compares to the earlier situation.
Think About Your Willingness to Engage With the Dog
Another aspect closely related to the broader time requirements mentioned above concerns how eager and able you are to interact with the dog. For example, do you envision it needing to spend most of the day confined to a crate, or will you spend hours per day directly engaging with it in an environment that allows for more free movement?
Your employment schedule may also impact whether you should get a dog now or wait until another time in life. If you work full-time and also have a lengthy commute, those characteristics may mean that you’ll be away from the canine too much, even if you’d much rather have the furry family member by your side. On the other hand, maybe you’re fortunate enough to work from home. In that case, the dog may learn to sit quietly at your feet as you stay productive.
Consider whether other family members will commit to taking care of the animal, too. Maybe you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and think that now is not the best time to get a dog. However, if your two teenagers promise to pitch in, the situation could change.
Become Aware of the Training Needs
Most dogs require some amount of training in new homes, such as teaching them not to do a specific thing. Fortunately, there are products on the market that can help.
For example, an ultrasonic trainer is great for discouraging dogs from barking. It emits sounds that dogs find annoying, but humans can’t hear. Similarly, if you need to house-train a dog, puppy pads can help prevent accidents.
If you don’t want to do a lot of training after bringing a dog home, choosing an older, well-mannered canine could help. It’s also useful to learn about any existing behavioral traits the animal has, if possible. There is no universal answer to whether you should get a dog. However, the areas covered here will get you on the right track for making an informed decision.