There are few things more adorable in this world than dogs. However, just because dogs are adorable doesn’t mean that we are all equipped to own one. Taking in and caring for a dog is a huge responsibility.
Wondering if you’re equipped to handle this responsibility? Looking for an answer to the question of, “should I adopt a dog?” You can find this answer by engaging in a bit of deep thought.
Should I Adopt a Dog: Things to Consider
As was noted above, adopting a dog is a big step. It’s not something which should be done without careful thought. Before going for it, these are things which you should consider.
1. Grooming the Dog
When you take in a dog, you are essentially taking in another member of your family. This means that you have to care for the dog as if it were a newborn baby.
A huge part of taking care of a dog is grooming it on a regular basis. This entails not only brushing and fur trimming, but also proactive flea prevention as well. Other components of grooming your dog include cleaning its ears, brushing its teeth, and clipping its nails.
2. The Dog’s Healthcare
In a perfect world, your dog would never get sick. However, this is not a perfect world, and your dog is likely to suffer from a sickness or two at some point.
Whether these sicknesses are minor or major, you will have to see a veterinarian. Veterinary visits can cost anywhere from fifty bucks to thousands of bucks, and can put a serious dent in your bank account. The point is, before you adopt, you need to be sure that you’re willing to pay the potential medical costs.
3. Time Constraints
When it comes to attention, dogs require a lot of it. They’re not like cats; they can’t just be left to their own devices all of the time. They’re more like human babies; they need to be helped with almost everything.
The time it takes to care for your dog will have a fairly large effect on the rest of your life. You’ll need to be home on a regular basis in order to feed your dog, to let your dog outside, and to take your dog on walks.
4. Your Lifestyle
It’s simple: if you spend the majority of your time away from the house, a dog is not the right type of pet for you. The only exception to this might be if you have another person in your life who can regularly look after the dog.
Dogs are very social animals. They require companionship on a consistent basis in order to remain happy and thriving. If you can’t give that to them, you shouldn’t bring them to your home in the first place.
5. Your Financial Situation
While raising a dog doesn’t cost as much as raising a child, it can still be fairly expensive. Reports estimate that dog ownership costs around $1,000 in the first year, and around $500 in all subsequent years.
However, if you choose to buy the best of the best for your dog, you can expect to shell out even more money. Your dog’s care and well-being will become part of your budget. Plan accordingly.
6. Socializing the Dog
As was noted above, dogs are social animals. In order to thrive and lead happy lives, they have to socialize with their owners as well as with other dogs. If dogs are not socialized, they can become aggressive.
Make sure that the area in which you live has spots where your dog will be able to play unleashed with other dogs. Dog parks, in particular, are great places to socialize dogs.
7. The Dog’s Living Accommodations
Another thing you’ll want to consider when adopting a dog is how that dog will live in your home. The Humane Society of the United States — along with a bevy of other organizations — considers it to be inhumane to force a dog to live outdoors.
While you should, obviously, let your dog outdoors every once in a while, the outdoors should not be its home. If you won’t let your dog live in your house, you shouldn’t adopt.
8. Apartment Pet Restrictions
If you live in a big city, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is finding an apartment which allows dogs to live in it. This is because many landlords fear that dogs will cause an inordinate damage to their properties, setting them back financially.
If you live in an apartment and are thinking about adopting, you first need to make sure that the apartment doesn’t have any pet restrictions set in place. If it does, you will be, unfortunately, out of luck.
9. Dog Training
Dogs come with all different types of temperaments. Whereas some of them are made housebroken, others of them are made with a wild streak. In the event that your dog has a wild streak, it will require some form of dog training.
In some cases, you will be able to train your dog on your own. In other cases, it will be necessary to take your dog to a professional dog trainer.
10. The Willingness of Others in Your Household
Just because you yourself want a dog doesn’t mean that everyone else in your house wants a dog. Bringing home a dog that is not wanted by several members of your household can result in some serious problems. In many cases, it can result in the dog being brought back to the shelter or left on the streets.
If you’re going to adopt a dog, make sure that everyone in your household is willing to take on the responsibility.
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Hopefully — now that you’ve made the above considerations — you have an answer to the question of, “should I adopt a dog?”
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