Should I Get a Dog? 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Bring Home a Pup

by | Jan 8, 2020 | Dog Psychology

Adopting a dog into your family can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. There are a lot of questions you need to answer to know if you’re ready for a dog and, if yes, the type of dog you want.

Most importantly, you’ll have to evaluate your current lifestyle, to know whether they can accommodate a dog in your life. Check out these important questions to consider when asking yourself “should I get a dog”.

Is Your Home Dog-Friendly?

Dogs can make big messes sometimes. All dogs, puppies, or large dogs can be quite destructive. They can chew your shoes, rip your furniture, track muddy paw prints, and generally cause a total mess. This won’t happen all of the time but you should prepare yourself for the possibility.

Make sure you have as many things out of reach as possible and create spaces and buy essential pet products for your dog to enjoy themselves freely without consequences. 

How Much Time Will You Spend with Your Dog?

Dogs, like humans, need a good amount of time and attention. Do you have time to walk your dog? If not, can you afford a handler?

Some dogs need to go out frequently, while others do fine with a 10 minutes walk. A dog that is calmer can probably be left at home for a longer time than a dog with high energy. An active dog could become anxious if left inactive for a long time.

Think about how many hours you go to work and run errands. Some workplaces allow pets, while others don’t accommodate animals. Having a schedule will help you know how much time you can spend with your puppy.

Make sure you have enough time to meet the physical needs of your dog when asking yourself “should I get a dog”. 

Do You Have Children?

Sometimes mixing children with pets can be a little more difficult than some people think. Animals need some of the same basic needs and attention levels as children. Consider thinking about your children’s personalities and energy levels when asking yourself “should I get a dog”

If your kids are young, you will need to create boundaries with them. You need to be present to monitor the interactions between the dog and the baby. Toddlers don’t understand boundaries, and they may invade the pet’s space. You could try using a gate when they are learning to interact with each other. 

Avoid leaving the child with the pet before they learn to live with each other.

How Often Do you Travel?

Some people love to take vacations frequently and that’s fine. However, you do need to consider leaving your pet at home alone a lot. 

If your dog can’t go with you then you’ll need to do you have a care plan arranged for them. There are a lot of boarding facilities available for pet owners. When choosing a facility, make sure you choose one that meets the welfare of your pet. Remember to add this to the pet or vacation budget expenses.

If your dog doesn’t enjoy being around other dogs, find home care without other dogs so that it receives full attention. Discuss with your friends and relatives how much they can help with your dog during an emergency. You should have a few people who can help you take care of your dog at unpredictable times.

Do You Have Other Pets?

If yes, do your current pets get along with dogs? If not, are you ready to help them through the process of getting them used to each other? This is a real task for people that are asking themselves “should I get a dog” so don’t avoid considering this.

Having boundaries will help both parties be happy and comfortable. You can gradually introduce the animals to each other and train them on how to co-live by using home separators like baby gates.

Are You Ready to Be Responsible for Someone Besides Yourself?

If you have never owned a pet or don’t have kids, this will be a very new experience for you. You probably aren’t used to the feeling of being responsible for someone or something other than yourself. 

You will need to think about inconveniences and whether you’re up for being a guardian of another living creature. Remember that their care, treatment and livelihood is completely in your hands. 

What Does Your Future Look Like?

What do you plan to be doing in the next couple of years? A dog can live for a very long time, and your decisions in the future might affect it. For example, you may be planning to move soon which means you need to look for pet-friendly places and get your dog prepared as well. 

 

Some other things to consider are whether you are planning to have kids, move in with someone or switch careers. These changes will affect your time, finances and overall lifestyle. This means that your pet could be directly affected as well.

It’s best to think of all of these factors in advance when asking yourself “should I get a dog”.

Do You Have Basic Training Skills?

You should know the basics of training a dog, especially if you’re getting a puppy. If you aren’t planning on taking the role yourself, then have a backup plan in place. This could be a in-home teacher or a doggy course or school.

It’s important to get your dog used to certain commands for everyone’s safety and convenience

Do You Want to Add a Dog in Your Family?

Dogs are adorable and great creatures to have around. With that said, wanting to have a dog is not enough to determine whether or not you should have one. 

Dogs come with responsibilities that, if not met, could significantly affect their welfare. Before you adopt a dog, ask yourself if your family is ready or set up for adding an animal to it. This expands your family life and creates a new set of demands for everyone. 

Have You Been Asking Yourself “Should I Get a Dog”?

If you’ve been asking yourself “should I get a dog” these are the perfect questions to consider before jumping the gun. Pets are often viewed as extensions of our families so they come with great responsibility.

Make sure you have the capacity to take care of and afford another head in your home. For advice on health-related factors of owning a dog, check out this article on our blog.