Having a dog is a very rewarding experience, so it’s exciting when you think you’re ready to welcome one into your home. But it’s important to remember that a dog is a huge responsibility! If you’re wondering whether you’re ready for the commitment, there’s a lot to consider before welcoming a fluffy new member into the family. Here are 5 things to think about before getting a dog.
1. Should I get a puppy, or adopt an older dog?
It goes without saying that having a dog takes up a lot of time. This is especially true with puppies, as they require extra attention, and of course training. If you have a busy lifestyle or work long hours, a puppy might not be the right choice for you. Instead, you might want to consider adopting an older doggy who is already trained. There are lots of dog rescue centres with dogs for adoption. Check in with your local Dogs Trust; they have lots of dogs looking for their forever homes!
While you’re trying to assess whether you should get a dog, or what kind of dog would fit well into your life, you might want to look into fostering a dog. This is a great way to see how you will adapt to having your own dog while helping a dog on its way to finding a forever home.
2. How much time will I need to devote to a dog?
Dogs love company and when they’re left alone for long periods of time, they’ll get bored and lonely. This isn’t to say that if you’re busy, work long hours, or are out a lot of the time that you shouldn’t get a dog, but it does mean you need to consider what you’ll do with your dog while you’re out. If you think you’ll have to leave your dog on its own for long periods of time, is there anyone who can help? Can a friend or family member take your pooch during the day? If not, maybe consider hiring a dog nanny/dog walker.