Due to spending more time at home over the last few months, many people decided that it was the right time to get a dog. After all, if you’re at home, you have more time to spend with your new dog, getting them settled in and training them too. But knowing when it’s the right time to get a dog isn’t always easy. Being able to spend some time with your new dog is definitely helpful, but there are plenty of other things to think about. A dog needs to fit into your life, not just now but for the years to come too. In fact, you might need to be prepared to make future decisions based on your dog’s needs.
So how can you decide if it’s the right time to get a dog, not just during a pandemic but at any time? Before you go to your nearest pet shop, adoption center or breeder, you should consider a few essential points that will help you to make the right decision.
Is Your Home Suitable for a Dog?
The first thing you could ask yourself is whether your home is right for a dog. This is a question that doesn’t necessarily have a clear yes or no answer, partly because it might depend on what type of dog you’re looking for. The answer can also be influenced by your level of fitness and health, as well as other factors.
For example, if you’re looking for a dog with less energy, that is perhaps smaller or older, an apartment could be a suitable place. If you don’t mind going in and out of your apartment several times a day for walks and for your dog to relieve itself, it could work for you. However, if you’re thinking about a larger or more high-energy dog, you might need a bigger home and your own outdoor space. You should consider the space that you have available. Will you be forever tripping over a dog in your small home?
Another thing to consider is the safety of your home, especially when it comes to puppies. Is there anything in your home that could be dangerous to a dog? If so, is there any way to make it safer?
Is Your Lifestyle Suitable for a Dog?
It’s not just your home that matters when you’re thinking about getting a dog. Your lifestyle is another thing to think about. You should consider how many hours you work and how a dog would fit into your life as it exists now. You might adjust your lifestyle to fit a dog into it, or perhaps even get a dog to help you make changes to your lifestyle. But the important thing is that you can picture a dog being part of your life and that you can meet its needs. Will you be able to feed and walk a dog at appropriate times and take it to the vet when necessary? Can you take a dog with you when you go away, or make appropriate arrangements for its care?
Do You Have Time for a New Dog?
Time is another thing to think about when you’re deciding if it’s the right time to get a dog. How much time do you have to dedicate to caring for a dog? Of course, there are ways that you can get help looking after your dog if you can’t be home all the time. Your dog might go to doggy daycare while you’re at work or you could have a dog walker take your dog out during the day. When you go away, you might have someone else look after your dog if you can’t take it with you.
However, there’s no point getting a dog if someone else will always be looking after it. You should have time to look after your own dog, even if it’s only spending a few hours a day together. Are you prepared to get up early for walks or plan your travels around your dog?
Do You Have Other Dogs or Other Pets?
If you already have pets in your household, this is another thing to consider. Existing dogs or other pets don’t mean you can’t get a dog now, but you will need to think about whether a new dog will fit in with your family. If you already have one or more dogs, do they easily get along with other dogs? Would they welcome a new dog into the pack or be resistant? If you have other pets, first consider if they would be compatible with a dog. Will your cat get along with a dog or shy away from it? Can smaller animals be kept separately from a dog in your home?
The dog you want to get also makes a difference. Some breeds of dog have high prey drives, so wouldn’t be suitable for living with a cat or other smaller animals. Sometimes it might not be the breed that matters, but the individual dog. These are important things to think about before bringing a new dog into your home.
Do You Have Children?
As well as pets, it’s also important to take children into account. You should think about not just if you currently have children but also whether you are planning to have them in the future. Would you still have time for a dog if there were a newborn in your home? How would you make sure that both your dog and your child get the love and attention that they need?
If you have children already, they first need to be happy about having a dog added to the family. Not all children automatically love dogs, and getting a dog isn’t really the best way to cure a fear of dogs. Secondly, your children need to be able to treat a dog well. Even if they’re not old enough to help care for a dog, they need to know how to be kind and caring towards a dog. If you’re thinking of getting a dog because your child wants one, consider whether they will really follow through on all of their promises to help with feeding, walking, and care.
What Are Your Future Plans?
It’s always necessary to think about the future when you’re trying to decide if a dog is right for you. Your circumstances might be right for a dog now, but what will they look like in a few months or a few years? Depending on the breed and when you get your dog, they could be a member of your family for somewhere around ten to 13 years. You need to consider whether your dog will still fit into your life in the future. Of course, you might not be able to predict what the future looks like, but you can think about what is most likely to happen and what they might mean for a potential dog.
What Do You Want from a Dog?
When you’re thinking about getting a dog, you probably have a few things in mind for what your dog might be like. People want different things from a dog, which can change the sort of dog that they might look for. If you want a dog with lots of energy that’s good for families, you might choose a Labrador Retriever. If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t require as much exercise, you might pick a French Bulldog. You could choose an older dog if you’re looking for a gentle companion, or a puppy if you want to raise a dog from a young age.
What you want from a dog could affect what breed you look for, as well as age, sex, and even where you get your dog. Perhaps you want to adopt a dog, instead of buying a dog from a breeder. These are good things to think about if you’re wondering if now is the right time for a dog. Can you get what you want right now or is it better to wait?
Can You Afford a Dog?
Money matters when you’re deciding whether to get a dog. There are the supplies that you will need when you first bring a dog into your home. This could be more than you might think. In addition to a bed, bowls, collar, and leash, you might need things for the car, toys, a crate, and various other items. Your new dog might require vaccinations and to be spayed or neutered. You will also need to consider food, grooming items, and perhaps the cost of professional grooming.
Pet insurance will help to protect you if you are faced with veterinary fees. However, it won’t cover all costs at the vet. It likely won’t cover preventative treatment, such as vaccinations or worm and flea treatments. It’s a good idea to work out how much these things could cost each year, in addition to insurance premiums and excess.
Now could be the right time to get a dog, but you should give the question some careful thought before you make your decision.