So you want to get a dog?
The decision to get a dog is a significant one, and starting on the right foot can help ensure that it is also a successful one.
Firstly, have you asked yourself why you want a dog? This question may seem irrelevant, and it is one of the questions that many potential dog owners tend to skip over, however, it is really very important.
Let’s discuss the most common reasons that people get a dog in the first place. There are two groups, the wrong reasons and the right reason.
The right reason is really simple;
You have decided to bring an animal into your life, fully aware of what that means and you are ready for all of the changes that will shape your life from now on.
Now let’s discuss the other, unfortunately bigger group, the wrong (and most common) reasons.
Many people get their dogs based on various different reasons without really thinking about the full picture, or without understanding what is truly involved.
You should be aware that dogs can live for over 15 years, are you sure that you can commit yourself for that period of time? For example: if you are adopting a puppy for your kids that are 11 and 13 years old, by the time the dog is 7 years old, your kids will probably leave the house and you will remain with the dog. I know that we are talking about years from now but time goes fast and adopting a puppy now just to send him back to the animal shelter a few years down the road is really not fair or humane.
Did you know that the average yearly financial investment for owning a dog ranges from $1700-$2000? Can you financially support this? What about pet insurance? A dog will also need some training, which will involve an investment of your time and money. Are you prepared that you will probably end up with some type of damage in your house, even if you adopt an adult dog?
Does anyone in your house have any allergies? You would be surprised at how many dogs end up back in the animal shelter, just because their new owners discovered that one of their family members or friends has allergies.
Have you thought about how much time you will need to spend per day with your dog?
These are all things to think about before you get a dog.
Many people fall into the trap of getting a dog for the wrong reasons like; as a gift or to replace a missing family member, or to help get over a divorce or break up.
Giving a dog as a gift is often not a well thought out one. Are you sure that that person or family is actually ready for a dog? Are you sure that they will like the dog and that they will be willing to commit to responsible ownership? Getting a dog is a personal thing and everyone likes choosing a dog for themselves.
Adopting a dog from a local shelter just because you want to save him from an uncertain future is not the best way to start this adventure. Sooner or later that dog may exhibit unwanted behaviors which may not seem too grateful or appreciative of the fact that you saved him. It is important to be prepared and to be informed about the common myths and misbeliefs about dog adoption.
If you have suffered the loss of your pet or other loved one, and are grieving, getting a dog in order to fill the emptiness is not fair to your new companion. You will probably have certain preconceived expectations for that dog regarding his behavior or routine and you will not be able to properly connect with him for the new dog that he is.
Many people adopt a dog after a break up or divorce, again to fill a personal void. You have to remember that getting a dog while you are in an emotional turmoil may end up creating misunderstandings in communication, and could lead your dog to creating unwanted behaviors.
There are many more details and examples about people who get a dog for the wrong reasons, but as mentioned earlier there is only one good reason.
Again, that is that you understand what a dog is and you are ready and willing to change your life by bringing an animal into your home.
If you have thought it over and have reached this one good reason to get a dog, you will find all of the other important information that you need to know about in these pages, starting with a trip to your local animal shelter.
Return from Get a Dog to Dog Adoption
Return from Get a Dog to Training Your Dog and You