How to Tell When You’re Truly Ready to Own a Dog
More than 48 million American households own a dog at this time. That represents almost 40% of all the households in this country.
Are you thinking about buying or adopting a dog and welcoming them into your home? If so, you need to make sure that you’re truly ready to own a dog before you do.
There are so many benefits of owning a dog that you’ll get to enjoy when you bring one into your home. You’ll love the companionship that a dog provides as well as everything else that comes along with owning a dog.
But if you’re not prepared to do all the things that you’ll need to do when it comes to caring for a dog, then pet parenting might not be for you. Here are some of the ways that you’ll be able to tell that you’re ready to own a dog.
You Have Enough Room for a Dog
Do you live in a very small apartment, condo, or house that barely has enough room for you and everyone else that you live with? If so, you might not be a good candidate to own a dog.
Most dogs are going to need at least some space to run around and play inside. Depending on what type of dog you own, you also might need to provide your dog with plenty of room outside to stretch their legs.
With these things in mind, you should take a look at your current living situation and see if a dog is going to have enough space in it. If you don’t think that they will, you should wait until you move into a bigger apartment, condo, or house to own a dog.
You Have the Financial Means to Care for a Dog
It’s not necessarily going to be cheap to own a dog each year. The average cost of owning a dog tends to fall somewhere in the $400 to $1,200 range based on what kind of dog you have.
There is also a decent chance that you’re going to have to deal with unexpected medical bills as your dog starts to get older. These bills might sneak up on you and put a strain on your finances if you’re not careful.
As a result of this, you need to make sure that you’re going to be able to afford to own a dog. If you’re not making much money at the moment or if you’re already in debt, you might want to consider trying to improve your financial situation prior to introducing a dog into the equation.
You Have the Time to Devote to a Dog
When people get a dog for the first time, they’re often surprised to find out how much time it takes to care for them. Caring for a dog involves doing more than just scratching them behind the ears every so often and telling them how good they are.
When you own a dog, you have to set aside time to:
- Let them outside so that they can use the bathroom
- Take them on walks so that they can get enough exercise
- Play with them so that they stay entertained
- Feed them so that they stay well-nourished
- Bring them to the veterinarian so that they stay healthy
This might not seem like it would take up too much of your time. But you’re going to be devoting a large percentage of your time to caring for a dog from the second you bring them into your home.
You Have the Patience to Train a Dog
If you adopt an older dog, you might get lucky and end up with a dog that is already trained to at least some degree. But in most cases, people have to train their dogs before they can trust them to run free in their homes.
You’re going to have to train your dog to let you know when they need to go outside to go to the bathroom. You’re also going to have to train your dog as far as where they can and cannot go in your home. And you’re going to have to train your dog to obey a bunch of basic commands.
Doing all of this training requires a lot of patience on the part of a dog owner. You’re not going to have much success when trying to train a dog if you aren’t a very patient person. You should be aware of this going in and know whether or not you’re going to be patient enough to handle training a dog.
You Have the Kind of Dog You Want in Mind
One of the last things you should do when you’re kicking around the idea of getting a dog is think about what kind of dog you want. It’s going to be important for you to have a specific breed in mind before you start hunting for a dog.
There are so many different kinds of dogs available. Your goal should be to learn about as many of them as you can so that you can pick the one that’s going to work well in your house.
You don’t want to get a little tiny dog if you’re planning on using them for hunting purposes. By the same token, you don’t want to get a huge dog if your house is on the smaller side and you don’t want to spend all your time picking up after your pet.
Read more now about some of the most popular dog breeds and see which one might be right for you.
You Need to Be Ready to Own a Dog Before Bringing One Home
Bringing a dog into your home is going to be a big commitment. It’s why you should think long and hard about whether you’re ready to own a dog.
You’ll know you’re ready when you have the space, the money, and the time to devote to them. It’ll let you know that you’re going to be a great pet parent once you get a dog.
Want to read more pet-related articles? You can find them by poking around on the rest of our blog.