To a lot of people, the idea of having a loyal pet at their side is an appealing one. They see how happy others seem with their dogs and resolve to get a dog of their own. While that’s great and dog ownership can be both rewarding and fun, it’s also an enormous commitment – a commitment that brings with it certain costs and responsibilities you may not be anticipating. Here are seven things you’ll want to consider before getting a dog of your own.
1. There’s no changing your mind. Regardless of circumstances, once you’ve committed to getting a dog, you’re committed to him or her for the long haul. You can’t change your mind three months later and abandon the dog. Once you purchase the puppy or better yet, rescue him or her from a shelter, that’s it. So be absolutely certain you want the dog for its whole life before you bring the dog home.
2. Dog ownership costs money. While you won’t have to buy clothes and school books for your dog, there are other expenses involved. It’s estimated that food, veterinary care and miscellaneous expenses such as boarding average about $1,000 per year. Should your pooch need emergency veterinary care for some reason, you can double or triple that amount.
3. Most dogs need house training. Dogs are not to the manor born. Puppies require dog training. It’s just not in their DNA to ask to be let out to take care of their business. They’re going to be naturally inclined to go wherever they are, just like human babies. Except that you can’t put a diaper on your dog. So be prepared to invest some time in house training your dog.
4. You’ll need to find a good vet whom you trust. And you’ll need to find that vet before you bring your dog home. Waiting, then scrambling to find a vet in an emergency could cost your dog his or her life. Make sure you know who your doggy doc is ahead of time.
5. Someone is going to have to groom your dog. It would be best if it’s you because it will help you solidify your bond with the dog. But there are countless dog grooming services out there. Ask your friends who own dogs and talk to the potential groomer before signing on.
6. Be prepared to walk your dog. Simply bringing a dog home and then leaving it tied up in the yard is a borderline criminal act. Dogs need affection and attention like any other living thing so be prepared to take your best friend for regular walks around the neighbourhood or the park. This will also allow your dog to come in contact with other people and other dogs and learn to socialize.
7. Make sure your home is safe for your dog. Dogs are incredibly curious beings so you need to take it upon yourself to dog-proof your home ahead of time. Any and all toxic substances need to be inaccessible to your dog (keep in mind that chocolate is toxic to dogs) and your home should be free of things like loose plastic bags and poisonous plants.
Dog ownership is serious business. Make sure you’re ready for the responsibility before you add a dog to your family. If you have any questions about dog ownership, call iTrainK9 Dog Training at +1 905-330-4211 to discuss.