I thought bringing a cute little puppy into our small family will be the best thing that can happen to us that day. I’d never been so wrong.
It was probably the worst day for me and my wife in years. Why?
This was because we were not fully prepared. We thought we were ready for anything that might come our way, but we were sadly mistaken.
Please don’t misunderstand me, we were very happy to have him. It was like dream come true for us because we had been planning for several weeks and was looking forward to the day.
But soon the dream became worst nightmare as the puppy had got diarrhea after we fed him some bread and milk.
We quickly realized that we need to find a veterinary doctor to get him treated. After making several calls and few recommendations from our friends and family, we took him to a veterinary clinic other side of the city. Fortunately, he got a lot better in the afternoon.
So if you are asking this question to yourself: Are you ready to adopt a dog? Then you should stop asking wrong question.
Although mentally preparing yourself for owning a dog is important first step towards the big decision but you should also prepare your lifestyle, home and supplies for the new furry friend.
Owning a dog is not just a privilege but it’s also a big responsibility. Dogs are simply some of the best and most loyal companions anyone can have.
In fact, many studies have established that aside from being the perfect mood uplifters, dogs also have a positive effect on ones general health and well-being.
Did you know that according to studies, dog owners experience lower levels of cholesterol, lower levels of blood pressure and even a reduced risk of getting heart attacks? Want to be happier, healthier, less stressed and more active? Get a dog.
The process of adopting a dog is not as easy as many people make it out to be. The truth is that several things have to be carefully and elaborately considered before finally concluding that you are ready to bring your first dog home.
This leaves us with one big question, how do you know that you are ready to adopt a dog?
Well, if you want to know whether you are fully ready, then you need to answer several important questions.
1. Why do you really want a dog?
It’s amazing just how many people take this question for granted. Are you thinking of getting a dog just because you want to fit in? Or because it is the cool thing to do since most of your friends have pets. Or do you want to get a dog because you genuinely need a companion not only for the short term but also for the long term?
For you to be ready to adopt a dog, you must be in genuine need of a companion. In addition to that, you must be ready to commit to your dog for the long term.
2. Is your home pet-friendly?
If you are planning to get a dog, then you might as well ensure that its living conditions are comfortable and home environment is safe for the dog. There are several considerations that should be made.
Firstly, are you a home owner or are you a tenant? If you are the former, then you need not worry. Tenants may however have to consult with their landlords first. This is because some landlords may not approve of keeping a dog or any other pet on their property.
You also need to consider every other occupant of the house. Does your partner share in your need for a dog? If you have children, just how old are they and how ready are they to co-habit with a dog? The decision to adopt a dog needs to be made in consultation of every single habitant of the house.
You should also make a list of emergency supply stores and emergency veterinary clinics in your area and keep their phone numbers and address handy, in case of any emergencies.
3. Taking care of a dog means time. Do you have it?
If you are the kind who will leave your dog unfed and uncatered for simply because you are tired, then you are not ready to adopt a dog. Having a dog is just like bringing up a child. After all, just like children, dogs also have the basic needs of water and food as well as other emotional needs such as love and care.
Exercise is also essential for the good health of any dog. If you believe that you are ready to make a few changes to your day to day life and devote time and energy towards the fulfillment of the basic, physical and emotional needs of a dog, then you are definitely ready for your first dog.
4. Does your wallet allow it?
If you thought that owning a dog is cheap, then you better think again. Owning and taking care of a dog requires finances; lots of finances. Are you ready to spend to ensure that your dog lives a happy and healthy life? Are you ready to spend hundreds of dollars in veterinary fees, license fees and general upkeep of the dog?
Even more importantly, do you have the ability to meet these costs? For you to be ready to have a dog, you must also be ready for the financial strain that comes with caring for the dog.
5. Does your health allow it?
In as much as dogs have a positive effect on ones health, they can also be quite a nuisance to people who suffer from certain health conditions including allergies and even asthma. You need to ensure that no ones health in your family will be negatively affected by the presence of the dog.
6. What would you do when you have to go on vacations and holidays?
One of the meanest things you could ever do as a dog owner is to leave your dog lonely and alone when going on a vacation or a holiday. It is simply not right! But that doesn’t mean that you should cancel your vacations and holidays just because you now are a dog owner.
All you have to do is identify a responsible and reliable person/dog sitter/boarding house in which you can leave your dog for the whole duration of your vacation.
7. Are you ready for the risks that dogs bring?
Dogs are fun and sweet animals. There is no denying that. All the same, dogs also have a tendency of stirring up certain problems. For example, dogs will chew on everything from shoes to the carpet and they may leave their waste anywhere in the house from the couch to the carpet.
What’s more, how ready are you to deal with the various dog related accidents that may happen? Dealing with all these risks requires patience and calmness. Are you ready for that?
8. Finally you need to evaluate your behaviors and attitudes and determine whether they are compatible with owning and caring for a dog.
There are numerous clues in your life that can help you determine just how good a dog owner you can be. Right from the way you dress, to the way you keep and maintain your house and even down to your attitudes on certain issues. Remember, you will be the pack leader of your dog; you will be its master. With that in mind, you have to lead by example.
Once you have considered all the aforementioned issues and concerns and answered all the above questions in the affirmative, then it would be safe to say that you might be ready to adopt your first dog. However, it would be important to note that these are not the only considerations that should be made to determine readiness to adopt a dog.
Also remember that when choosing a dog, it is imperative that you choose a breed based on its compatibility with your family, future home environment, lifestyle, personality and character.