5 September 2018

Think Carefully Before You Bring A Furry Friend Home!

For a lot of people, a family is never going to be complete without a pet in the house. After all, many of us grew up with pets and know just how much joy they can bring into our lives. The idea of adding an animal like a dog to your family might be something that you're considering, but it's always a good idea to think as carefully as possible before you make such a serious commitment. Because the truth is that there are a lot of challenges involved in bringing a dog into your home. Sure, you might remember all of the joy it brought you when you were growing up but you probably weren't aware of the amount of work that your parents were doing behind the scenes. With that in mind, here are some important questions to ask if you're thinking of bringing a furry friend into your family.

What do they need?

White and Brown Shih Tzu Mix Puppy With Minion Toy on Green Grass

If you think that a dog is going to come into your home entirely on its own then you're sorely mistaken. Even if you're just getting a single dog, you're going to end up with a home that's totally full of stuff. Sure, there's the obvious stuff like food bowls, dog beds, and a lead. But you should also think about things like a harness to stop them pulling on the lead, toys to keep them entertained, and a regular supply of treats to help with training. The last thing you want is to end up in a position where you bring your new furry friend home and you realize that you don't have enough of the stuff that they really need. The best thing to do is to do as much research as possible and make a checklist in advance of bringing them home.

Do you have enough space?

You might assume that a dog can fit into just about any home and, to a certain degree, that's true. However, even the smallest dog can end up taking up far more space in your home that you might realize. Few things can make your life more stressful than having something running around right under your feet every second of the day. The other issue with bringing a dog into a smaller home is that they might not have the chance to stretch their legs properly. If that's the case then you need to make sure that you're taking them for nice long walks so that they have the chance to wear themselves out and aren't going to end up feeling frustrated and stifled at home.

Can you afford it?

Whether you're buying a puppy or adopting a dog, you're probably going to end up spending at least some money on it. However, the mistake that a lot of people make is that they assume that that's the only money that they really need to spend on their dog. The truth is that a dog can be a pretty hefty investment. Not only do you have the cost of the animal itself, as well as things like its bed and toys, but you also need to think about the more regular costs like food. You should also think about pet insurance. It might seem like a lot of money to spend on your pet but if they're not insured then you run the risk of having to pay out some seriously big vet bills if something happens to them. You need to make sure that a pet is something that you have room for in your budget before making any concrete decisions.

Do you have the time?

animal, animal photography, animal portrait

Of course, a dog is not just a financial commitment but a time commitment as well. If you want a dog then you've got to make sure that you have the time to take them out for walks as well as spending time with them. Dogs are naturally social creatures and they don't like to be left on their own for too long. If you're out of the house from sunrise to sunset, then your furry friend is going to end up getting incredibly stressed out because of it. This is especially true for puppies since they need a lot of time and attention when it comes to training, but the same goes for older dogs as well. If you don't have the time to actually look after them then a dog might not be the right pet for you and your family.

Are your kids old enough?

A dog is a pretty big responsibility and not all kids are old enough to be able to handle that responsibility. Kids and dogs can go together wonderfully but if your children are too young to fully understand the responsibilities that they have when it comes to owning a dog, that can be a problem. Your dog might want to play but if your children are very young, they might end up being too rough with your dog which can not only make their lives miserable but can result in them lashing out and potentially hurting your children pretty badly. You need to make sure that your kids are old enough for you to be able to properly educate them about how to behave around dogs.

Now, please don't think that any of this is designed to stop you from getting a dog if you really want one. The truth is that dogs can bring so much happiness into yours and your family's life, regardless of how much work it can often involve. The point of this list is not to tell you that getting a dog would be a bad idea, but rather it's to help you think as carefully as possible about the kinds of things that you really have to do rather than falling into the trap of biting off more than you can chew. After all, the last thing you want is to bring a dog into your home only to realize that you're not ready for the sheer amount of work that can often be involved in caring for it.

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