5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Dog
Do you deserve to have us?
You see cute puppies running around your neighborhood. You see us in social media, particularly Instagram, posting cute photos of my fellow floofs or even cats, happily cuddled by their owners and everything is so perfect.
So you said to yourself with all excitement : “I’m gonna a get a dog!”
But, hold on. Let me just tell you that WE, DOGS, DOGGOS, DOGGIES WHATEVER YOU NAME US. WE ARE NOT TOYS, DOGS ARE NOT CARS, DOGS ARE NOT SEASONAL ITEMS, that when you people get tired of us, or if we get sick— You’ll just leave us in at the shelter just like that or even leave us on the roads! (Like here in Korea…)
Although getting a dog will not be lifetime commitment, you are looking to 10 to 20 years of commitment.
These are the questions you have to ask YOURSELF before you even think of getting doggies, as your companion. Or before even say : “You deserve us”.
#1 ARE YOU SURE, YOU REALLY WANT A DOG?
Before you get a dog, ask yourself if you really, really want one. Owning a dog is not as easy as it looks. It is all and games. To have a dog is an actual serious commitment with full obligation.
Keep in mind that having us in your life can be expensive (if not very) and exhausting at the same time. dogs can be noisy, messy, and enrgetic that sometimes depending on breed might be difficult for you to keep up with (my mom isthe best example 😅).
So, even if you keep on telling yourself that you love dogs, or crazy about us, keeping and taking care of us is a whole different story. And you can’t blame us. Why? Because… We are dogs! Dogs are good tbeing dogs.
Choosing to have a dog means that YOU are stepping in to be our parent, YOU ARE SIGNING UP TO BE OUR PARENT which is a long-term commitment.
#2 DO YOU LIVE IN A DOG-FRIENDLY HOUSE?
Well, you don’t have to be living in a mansion to have us. But, if you do, that will be awesome!! 😍
What I meant by this is, if you are living in an apartment, make sure that you check it clearly with your real estate agent or your landlord whether you’re allowed to have a dog in your building. Let’s face it, there are places that doesn’t allow their renters to have four legged friends barking in the building.
Here in Korea that’s exactly the case.
For us doggies, living in an apartment means less running around in the backyard or even limits our movement especially if you are living in a small space. And if we’re not cared for, we may see or feel your place like a gilded prison.
But I’m not saying that furry friends like me can’t live in an apartment. It is possible, with few adjustments to be done on your side.
Second, here’s the sub-question : IS YOUR HOUSE PUPPY PROOF?
Okay, let’s put it this way, it’s like baby-proofing your house. When you human baby starts to crawl, you make sure the corners of your table has cover in it to make sure that the baby won’t hurt himself / herself just in case she / he bumps into it. Or if your baby starts to reach and chew on things, you make sure that you clear the space to avoid it, right?
It’s the same goes with dogs. Puppers love to explore and curious of everything, so it chews whatever in its path (except me, I don’t chew everything—)
It will be helpful if you, as our dog owners, set specific space for us at the beginning to avoid furniture damages that might hurt us as well. And also, be aware that there are plants that can be poisonous to your dogs so you may want to keep them (if you have any) out of reach same thing with cleaning supplies and other medicines as well.
Make sure that we don’t have access to your balcony, decks. Always keep your doors close, there’s a possibility that we might escape out of curiosity. Be careful with electric cords too.
This is just me bragging. My pawrents are so proud me😎. Because I don’t chew things that’s not meant for me. I mean, I won’t chew an electric cord? What if I got electrocuted? Shoes?? No way! I love socks though 🤩.
#3 DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME?
I consider this as crucial. Because most people are busy these days, it can be from work, friends or families. We can be very demanding with your time and energy.
So, do you have time? We, dogs as pets are like babies. We need you to have time for us. Not only if you’re bored and play with us for little while.
As a dog owner, you have responsibility to take us out for a dog walk. We need to go outside as frequent as possible.
Dog walking is important for us because it provides us exercise and good for our mental health as well. It is also great opportunity for us to socialize with other pets and doggies out there.
Another thing is, dog walking gives us a chance to be exposed and interact with other hoomans aside from you.
Lastly, this is perfect to build the special bond between us dogs and YOU as our owners.
# 4 DO YOU HAVE PATIENCE?
The next thing you should ask yourself is, do you have patience?
As I mentioned earlier, raising a dog, a puppy or an adult dog, can be exhausting and challenging! So you have to be forgiving and willing to endure while your doggy is going through his / her learning curve.
Keep in mind that, IT IS NOT ONLY YOU WHO’S ADJUSTING, YOUR DOGGO IS IN ADJUSTING PERIOD TOO.
In addition to that, in order for us to grow well as a great companion, we are hope that you won’t only be patient to us but we also hope that you’ll be kind and loving. Dogs depend on you.
#5 DO YOU HAVE MONEY?
Last but not the least, Do you have money?
Having a pet in general requires you to have a budget. And of course getting a dog is no exemption whether it is from a shelter, breeder or pet shop or even just taking in a stray dog (like my case). The initial cost are just the beginning.
Again… this is a long term financial commitment.
There are two main cost range and (there’s also in -between) of getting a dog.
The first one is the initial cost which is also a one time expense, that involves the adoption cost or when you purchase a dog. This amount varies depending on the dog breed and where you get the dog from. The price range might also differ from country to country. To give you a rough estimate it may cost from $0 – $600 the least.
Aside from this, the first vaccination fee, preventive meds for heartworm, ticks etc. also falls under the initial cost which can be from $60 – $150. I forgot to mention Spay / Neuter which can range from $20 – $300. Depending on the dog’s size the cost may change as well. My mom paid almost $400 when I got Neutered.
Now, don’t forget about the basic ones like food, toys, bowl, leash, crate / dog house or bed which is under the general cost. You are probably looking into $50 – $200 roughly. Again, this will depend on dog breed and on YOU, the owner. If you’re like those people who love to dress us up, then, that’s another additional expense. Believe me dog clothes and accessories can be a little bit pricey.
Another thing that you may want to remind yourself of with regard to cost is, there’s also routine expenses like dental care which can be anywhere from $50 – $400 depending on your dog’s teeth condition. And let’s include grooming as well.
With all these bills, I’m still missing a few on the list : microchip & dog training. Based on this site, microchip can cost from $25 – $50. While here in Korea, it’s free. They do it to avoid further increase of abandoned dogs.
Dog training is something that can be considered optional. Although it is beneficial for us, doggos, the training can be costly depending on the type of training that your dog required. Some owners are opt for it while others prefer to do it themselves.
I hope I didn’t make you feel overwhelmed 😊.
So after you ask yourself these 5 questions and you answered yes. Try to re-evaluate yourself one more time. Do following steps before getting out of your house and get a puppy.
BEFORE YOUR GET A DOG…
DO YOUR RESEARCH. Take a moment to think whether you’ll get a puppy or an older dog moreover what dog breed that you think will suit you.
If you decide to get a puppy, then, please be reminded that puppies are cute and adorable but can be very active and will require 99% of your attention. Also, most of these puppies are still on house training, so expect that you’ll be cleaning their “dog poo”. If you’re not up to that, then you might consider getting an older dog.
An adult dog on the other hand, may be a much lower maintenance than puppies but an older dog may still have habits or behavior that would call for training. Another good thing senior dogs is they’re not as energetic as puppies. (I can sense that my mom feels jealous, every time she sees other doggies older than me, walking peacefully with their owners. We’re always on the run specially if I hear birds anywhere! *emoji)
Dog breed. Do your thorough research on what dog breeds that will suit your lifestyle, your condition and your place. Because each and every dog breeds has different needs, personality, and challenges. Meaning if you’re a homebody don’t get a dog that loves outdoor.
ADOPT OR FOSTER A DOG. Fostering a dog before adopting will be a great way for you to know if you are truly determined to be a dog pawrent. This is an opportunity for you to have a hands-on experience on raising a dog, rather than just imagining it. Aside from the fact that fostering a dog would be a great help for shelters, adopting from it has benefits too.
So, with all these questions laid out in front of you, Do you still want to have a dog?🤔
I created this article not to scare you, future and present dog owners. It’s just that, seeing dogs in shelter, on the streets is heartbreaking. Those dogs used to have owners but for some reasons, they were abandon just like that.
Getting a dog is not simple, it is a decision that needs to be thought through. We, dogs are thankful for the attention and care you’re giving us. We are thankful for the love, but don’t give up on us if we fail you.
How about you? Do you own a dog? What are the things you ask yourself first, before you get your dog? What are the challenges that you faced on raising your pup?
I would like to know, please do share your experience on the comment below.
See you in my next post!
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