Owning a pet is a big responsibility, none greater perhaps than that of a dog. Dogs are unique and knowing if you are ready for a dog is more difficult than just knowing you want a dog! Let’s look at some of the ways you can tell if you’re ready for a dog.
How To Know If You’re Ready For A Dog
Everyone is different. Maybe your list of reasons why you know you’re ready for a dog will be different from mine. In my experience these are some common ways to know that you are ready to dive into the fun, exciting, stressful world of dog ownership.
I’ve done my research!
Every dog breed is different. You might know that you are ready for a dog if you’ve done a lot of research on breeds, training, veterinarians, and care of dogs.
Before we got our first puppy I spent hours on the internet researching dog breeds that we were interested in; it’s how I knew that our lives at the time couldn’t accommodate one of my giant breed dream dogs.
I have savings and a steady financial situation!
Did you know that it can cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 to feed a single dog each year? That’s a general estimation for medium sized dogs. It costs us roughly $70 a month in dry dog food alone for our two large breed dogs. With one more giant breed on the wishlist we’ll be looking at close to $100 per month in food costs. That can add up quickly.
Add in regular vet car, monthly prescription medications (yes, we do prescription preventative meds for all our dogs), and any emergency situations that might arise and the cost of owning a dog can really add up.
You’ll know that you are ready for a dog when you have a steady and stable financial situation and enough in savings to cover an emergency surgery!
I don’t mind having my sleep patterns disrupted!
Potty training a puppy is hard work. Oftentimes adult dogs that you rescue will also need help acclimating to your routines and home as well so don’t assume that adoption instantly means you have no potty training issues ahead!
Our oldest, Oscar came from a shelter and he was “potty trained” but what they didn’t tell us was that he also had severe separation anxiety and some small aggression issues. Getting him into a routine that kept him and our house safe was exhausting.
When we got Ruger and when we got Burton they were both still puppies. Burton came from a bad situation where he had not been started on housebreaking or training at all. That meant getting up every two hours throughout the night to take him outside. It was pretty easy since I had been doing that for weeks with Ruger while he was battling lymphoma and medication side effects.
My family is ready for a dog too!
Everyone in the house needs to sit down and discuss if you are ready for a dog. Never has it been more exciting to be a one person household, right?! If you’re NOT a one person household it’s important that everyone is on board. Once you bring a new dog or puppy home you don’t want to have to turn around and take it back or re-home it because of relationship problems!
I have no helpful tips here. My husband and I have been locked in a battle over a third dog for so long that I feel like I’m losing my mind. When Ruger died he had no choice but to let me get Burton. I was beyond any other method of consoling and that must have been obvious…even to a semi-emotionally clueless man 😉
I will say this: it’s important to consider who will be doing a majority of the work involved with a new dog. Putting your foot down on either side of the discussion only works if you are invested in the hard work and heavy lifting associated with a new pet.
I have a great vet recommendation!
When we found our veterinarian it was a like a beam of light shining down from the heavens. In our super rural area there’s not much in the way of choices and finding a place (that you love and trust) to take your pets when they need medical care is SO important.
I knew that we had found our lifelong vet when I had a sick guinea pig who had to be put down. In the grand scheme of things a guinea pig might not seem like the most important thing in the world but Pip Squeak was my bud. He was (and still is) the most talkative and friendly pig we have ever had. He was a cool dude. The day I had to decide to put him down was tough and I’ll never forget the vet tech who held my hand while I cried and talked about her own small animals and how they weasel their way into our hearts.
Having a vet that you trust is a key element to owning any pet, and especially a dog who will need yearly visits for shots, checkups, and preventative care. You’ll know you are ready for a dog when you have a vet lined up to care for them before you even bring them home!
Some of this seems unpleasant and overwhelming…I’m certainly not trying to scare you. The important thing to remember here is that planning is key. Jumping in one day and bringing home a new dog or puppy without any thought or research can lead to unhappiness and unpleasantness for everyone in the house, including your new dog.
Careful planning can help make sure you are ready to not only love a dog but that you are also ready to help make them a happy, healthy, and responsible K9 citizen!
Here are some more dog resources you can check out!
- 15 DIY Dog Toys Your Pup Will Actually Like
- How To Clean Dog Toys
- Burton’s Highlight Reel | German Shepherd Cuteness
- Frugal Pet Food Tips