Loving a dog is perhaps one of the best things about having a dog. They brighten up our entire life and when we see pet parents out and about in the park, we can’t help but imagine what life would be like with a mischievous furry friend on our side.
But having a dog is also a lot of work. You may not have the complete picture of what it’s like to get a dog. So before you bring home a furry buddy, here are some things to know before getting a dog for the first time.
6 Things To Know Before Getting A Dog For The First Time
When you are planning to get a dog for the first time, you need to consider the following:
1. How Much Time Do You Have?
Even if you bring home a low maintenance dog, you still need to take them out on walks and train them. Potty training and socialisation are the two most important training that you need to give your dog and most house training rules start from day one.
Additionally, you must keep a lookout for issues like separation anxiety, or pica etc. Some of these habits can put them in dangerous situations and you must have a watchful eye, and the time to address these issues.
2. How Much Effort Are You Willing To Put It?
There are a few important commands that you must teach every dog. But, for training to make sense to dogs, you need to train them every day.
This is easier said than done and some days are going to be better than others. Nevertheless, you need to push through and help them become model canine citizens.
3. It Can Get Expensive
Leashes, collars, dog food, treats and toys, along with routine vet visits are the most basic expenses that a dog has. Some are like to buy their dogs beds, crates etc.
If you want to travel with your dog, it leads to added expenses as well.
Additionally, you need to set aside some budget in case your dog falls sick. Any dog can get degenerative illnesses as they grow older. Things like diabetes and Cushing’s Disease is not uncommon to dogs. They can also get health issues from obesity.
All these problems will cost money in the long run and you need to be prepared for the expenses.
4. Get Ready For Walkies
You can get a dog based on your personality. So, if you aren’t very active, you can get a dog that requires less exercise.
But even then, you still have to take your dog out on a walk at least once or twice a day. When they are a puppy, you will have to take them out more often to potty train them. Most dogs want to be taken out first thing in the morning so you need to be ready for that kind of commitment.
5. It’s A Commitment For The Long Run
Dogs live for at least 10 – 15 years and all places in India are not pet friendly. You can’t leave for a vacation on a whim. You have to make reservations in reputed pet hostels or ask a reputed pet sitter to look after your dog.
If you love to hike and you want a dog that can accompany you, you need to carefully consider the level of energy your dog has.
You need to look at your life from a bird’s eye view for what’s going to happen for the next 10 years. Are you going to shift to a different city/country? Or get married and have children etc. We hope you have included your dog in all these future plans because the most common reason for canines to be abandoned is that their owners haven’t made plans for the changing future.
6. You Have To Make Sacrifices
Raising a dog is a lot like raising a child. The only difference is that, while a child will grow up and become more independent with every passing year, your dog will always be dependent on you.
You need to feed them, walk them, groom them, play with them, exert them physically and mentally. All this takes time and dedication and you can’t take out time if you don’t make sacrifices in other ways.
So, maybe you won’t be able to do the extra shift at work or hang out late with your friends. You may have to come right back home to your dog who has probably been waiting all day for you.
We don’t want to discourage you from having a dog. We just want to prepare you for the hard work involved in raising your dog. The first few months can be very overwhelming but as you start falling into a routine, you will appreciate their pure souls.
We wish you all the best on your pet parenting journey. Are you planning to get a dog? Or did you recently get a dog? Let us know how your experience has been so far in the comment section below.