3 Thing to Consider Before Getting a New Dog
Adding a new furry member to the family is always an exciting venture. A new dog, whether it’s the first for your family or the tenth, is a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here’s what you should consider before heading to the shelter to pick out your new best friend…
Your Reasons for Wanting a Dog
There are many wonderful reasons to get a new dog, but it’s important not to jump the gun when actually going to pick one out. Do you have an older dog who may not have much time left? Do you want a playmate for the kids? Do you simply enjoy the companionship? Or are you planning to work the dog; be it on a farm, for protection, or for another purpose? Be honest about why you want to add a new member to your pack so you can make the best choice.
Do you live alone or have a large family? Are you an active person or do you often stay in the house for enjoyment? Are there children in your home, or just adults? Are there any elderly family members that will be interacting with the dog? How committed is the rest of your family to caring for your new dog? All of these questions can impact the type of dog you should bring home. If there are children or infants in the house, a calm, docile pup would be best. If you’re an avid runner, a high-energy dog who can join you on a jog might be a great fit.
There’s no way to sugarcoat this… DOGS ARE EXPENSIVE. The adoption fee is the smallest fee you’ll ever pay for your dog (unless you buy an expensive purebred perhaps). Annual check-ups, monthly flea & tick prevention, monthly heart-worm prevention, unexpected illnesses (1 in 3 dogs gets some form of cancer in their lifetime), and boarding fees are just some of the things you’ll need to cash out for when you have a dog. You need to be honest about whether or not you can afford a new dog. It isn’t fair to the pet if you bring them home only to realize you can’t afford their heart-worm prevention and they later die of the disease. Dogs are wonderful to have, but we have to take our finances into account before committing to them.
Dogs are amazing pets and wonderful companions. Whether they brighten your day by running around with your little ones on the lawn all afternoon, or they protect your herd day and night on the farm, they truly are man’s best friend. If you’ve considered why you want a new dog, what kind of dog might be right for your family, and you can afford the commitment, it’s time to go searching for your new dog! Good luck finding your perfect pup and enjoy all those wet kisses from an adorable new furry face!
Starting a New Puppy Off Right
Let me begin with saying that I do not recommend getting any animal as a gift. Unless of course, lots of planning and research has gone into your decision. Having said that, people will be people. So let’s talk about how to choose the right puppy and get off on the right foot.
Please do not choose a dog because of the cuteness factor. Always think of temperament and energy level first. These are the more important things than cuteness that you will be have to live with for the next 12 to 16 years.
- Realize that you are not adopting a child. You are adopting a dog. Getting off to a good start is much easier than reversing behaviors later.
- Choose the dog based on the proper energy level and temperament for your family.
- Set boundaries right away. When meeting the new puppy, follow all of the greeting rules that you would use for an adult dog.
- Take your new dog or puppy for a nice long walk before coming into the house.
- Set firm boundaries when entering your home for the first time. Dogs should know where they are and are not allowed.
- Socialize your puppy early on. The ages between eight and 12 weeks are crucial.
- Take your new puppy or dog to see your own veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Remember that adopting a pet is a commitment and can be a great lesson for children.
- Give your new family member lots of love. Just remember to love in a stable state of mind.