Is A Dog the Right Pet For Your Family? The Key Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Commit

Last Updated on December 13, 2022 by HodgePodgeDays

For many families up and down the UK, their unit doesn’t feel complete without a furry friend lurking around. Whether you’re a lover of Chihuahua, a Jack Russell or you’re after something a lot bigger like a Great Dane, it’s safe to say we’re a nation of dog fanatics.

Having a dog in the family home can bring so much love, joy,and happiness to everyone in the household. However, while your eyes may be drawn to their puppy dog eyes, you need to seriously consider whether getting a pooch is the right decision for your family. With that in mind, here are some key questions to ask yourself before committing to a canine companion.

Pet Care: Healthy eating for active dogs

Can You Afford A Dog?

Arguably the most important question of all – can you afford a dog? Once you’re in the mindset of bringing a four-leggedfriend into the family home, you may forget about all the finances and expenses that go along with it. Regardless of age or breed, there are all kinds of day-to-day expenses you need to factor in so your dog has a happy, healthy life. These include food, toys, worming treatments, and vet bills.

Also, you should consider taking out dog insurance. This will add a financial layer of protection should your dog get ill. Make sure to take out dog insurance through a reputable provider like Purely Pets. They have an array of policy plans you can sift through to suit your needs. Before going any further, it’s time to take a hard look at your finances. Only take the next step if you can confidently say you’re able to fund having a dog.

Are You Allowed To Have A Dog Where You Live?

While we would all love to have a canine companion to curl up to on the sofa, you may not be allowed to have a dog where you live. This is especially true for those who rent. If you’ve got a mortgage and own your home, the world is your oyster. But, for the millions of us that have landlords, you’ll find a large quantity don’t allow pets.

The last thing you should do is get a dog without their say-so. After all, the last thing you want to be dealing with is an eviction notice! Even if you own your own flat, there’s the possibility building management has size restrictions regarding dogs. Make sure to take this into consideration to avoid disappointment.

Have You Got Enough Time For A Dog?

Whichever breed of dog catches your eye, you need to understand that canines require lots of your attention. This means that for those who live hectic lives, you could find your dog becomes a hindrance, rather than a joy. Whether you love waltzing off on holiday or you’re always out catching up with friends, when bringing a dog into the mix, a large chunk of your time needs to be spent caring for your pooch.

While cats are more than happy to be left to their own devices, the same cannot be said for dogs. They love to be around their owners getting a fuss! If you’re seriously considering getting a dog, make sure you enrich their life by providing plenty of company, attention, exercise, and care. The same goes for the whole family. Everyone needs to muck in and do their bit so your dog lives a fulfilled life.

Do You Have The Patience Required For A Dog?

If you’re toying with the idea of getting a puppy, you need to be aware training can be very challenging. This is because they regularly chew and destroy things, like furniture. While puppy training helps teach them how to behave around the house, thorough training takes time. Therefore, you need to be extremely patient and keep stress levels at bay. While we don’t doubt you’ll get frustrated if you find your dog has destroyed your possessions, you need to not let your anger rise to the surface.

Even if you decide on getting a rescue dog, they’re still going to need training to settle in and adhere to your rules. You can’t train a dog overnight. But, with the right perseverance and patience, they’ll soon settle into your way of doing things.

Will You Be Able To Exercise Your Dog Regularly?

One thing most dogs love nothing more in life is heading out the front door and going on a walk. A question you seriously need to ask yourself is whether you’re able to exercise your dog regularly? When we say this, we don’t just mean once or twice a week. There are some breeds that need walks multiple times a day!

For those who aren’t fit and active, you may struggle to keep up with your dog. Many canines need regular exercise to support their bones and joints. If you’re not in the best health yourself, the thought of constant walks may fill you with dread. While you may have another family member who can take over the reins in regard to walks, what happens if there are moments when it’s just you and man’s best friend?

What Breed Is The Best Fit For Your Family?

There are some families that know exactly what dog breed they want, while others haven’t got the foggiest! You need to conduct thorough research before deciding on a breed as this can make a massive difference. Learn as much information as possible about the breed you’re after before getting a dog. This is because certain breeds are known for being at a higher risk of medical issues. Sadly, they can impact your dog’s life and involve higher levels of care and expenses.

All dog breeds come with their own distinct personality traits. While some breeds are quiet and content, others can’t sit still! You need to weigh up what type of dog breed is suitable for your home, especially if you’ve got children.

Have You Got Children?

Following on from the above, if you have children, it’s vital that you don’t make any rash decisions concerning getting a dog. This is because some dog breeds get on marvellously with kids, whereas others aren’t exactly ideal with children around. You need to remember that any dog you get is still an animal. This means there aren’t any guarantees they’ll get on well with kids, so care must be taken.

Before bringing a dog into the family home, teach your kids how to look after a pet. Also, guide them on what kind of behaviours should be avoided around the dog. This includes pulling its tail or climbing on its back. If you have a toddler, they’re not going to understand this so it may be wise to leave it a few years until they’re more aware.

Do You Have Enough Space?

Dog lovers who dream of having a larger breed need to be realistic about how much space they’ve got in their home to accommodate one. Sure, the idea of having a German Shepherd or Great Dane may fill you with joy, but if they haven’t got room to roam around and explore, problems can arise very quickly!

You want to ensure your home has sufficient space not only for your loved ones but your pooch too. Take a look at the size of your garden too. Preferably, you should have enough garden space so your dog can run free and go to the toilet. Those who haven’t got a big garden may find having a large dog more hassle than it’s worth!

Have You Got Any Other Pets?

If you have other pets in the home, especially cats, you must take into account the effect a dog will have on furry friends already living in it. While some cats and dogs can bond brilliantly, in some cases, they may not tolerate each other. This can lead to bad behaviour and fights from both parties which could prove catastrophic.

You’ll want to make sure all your pets get on and live in harmony. But, this may not be the case should you pick the wrong dog breed. Throwing a new dog into the mix could cause trouble and friction which no one wants to endure!

What Are Your Future Plans?

Where do you see yourself and your family in the next fiveyears? If the answer is that you’re perfectly content as you are, getting a dog may not be too much of a big deal. However, for those who have dreams of taking their family to live overseas, bringing a pooch into the home may not be wise.

Many dogs can live well into their teen years, so this must be factored in before making your mind up. Getting a dog is a lifelong commitment that you must stand by.

While many of us would love to have a pack of dogs in our homes showering us with love and affection, you need to be realistic and ask yourself the questions above before going any further. Remember, a dog is for life (not just for Christmas), so take your time to decide whether a furry friend is right for you and your family.

This is a contributed post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.