Dogs are wonderful companion animals, and they’re a ton of fun. But it’s still important to go into dog ownership with your eyes wide open.
Thus, we wanted to share four things that we thing potential pet parents should think about before adopting their first dog.
You’re making a long-term commitment.
Dogs live for 10 to 13 years on average. When you buy one, you should commit to being that dog’s friend and companion for his entire lifespan.
That means getting real with yourself. Are you reasonably certain you’ll be in a home of your own (where you are the landlord)? Are you in a pet-friendly area of the country, like here in Washington DC, where dog-friendly rentals are relatively easy to find? And if so, how big will this dog ultimately get, since some dog-friendly rentals only allow dogs of 20 pounds or less?
There are some areas of the country where you absolutely cannot find a dog friendly rental for love or money, so be careful. A lot of dogs end up in the shelter because their families had to move.
Noting the eventual size of the dog is also important because it reminds you that the cute puppy you bought today will not be a cute puppy forever.
The dog’s behavior will have more to do with you than the dog.
A lot of dogs get surrendered because of behavior problems. But behavior problems are completely within your control.
You are the Alpha. It is up to you to show the dog how to behave properly. The dog can’t behave if you don’t train him.
Training dogs doesn’t come naturally to most of us. You may need to invest in puppy boot camp or obedience school before you and the dog can interact peacefully. Are you willing to set aside this money?
Dogs require more than food and water.
Dogs require food, water, leashes, walks, space to play in, toys, vet visits, and your time. If you don’t have all of those elements a dog may not be right for you and your family at this time.
Dogs make travel plans a little more complex.
Before you adopted the dog you had thea bility to just get up and go whenever you wanted to. After adopting the dog you need to figure out how he fits into your travel plans.
It’s just as hard to find pet-friendly hotels as it is to find pet-friendly apartments, and you can’t usually take a dog into a restaurant while you’re on the road. Neither can you leave him in the hot car.
Of course, you can always hire pet sitters like us–but you need to make sure you’ve factored that into your travel budget!
Fortunately, pet sitters are an easy solution for pet owner travel woes, and we’re more than happy to help. 🙂 We just want you to understand that you may need services like ours before you invite that adorable puppy into your home.