Am I Ready to Have a Dog?

Let’s be blunt:  As is true of most relationships, Love is not enough!

Let’s Think About This

OK.  I KNOW I want a dog – but let’s still do a Reality Check.

Here are some questions that need to at least be THOUGHT ABOUT – if not actually answered – BEFORE you really acquire a dog:

Can I take him on walks every day for at least 1 hour?

Dogs are not stuffed toys; they are animals – real, physical creatures.  Many are OK with being a couch potato with you, but some need to be taken for walks.

Some smaller dogs can be OK with a shorter walk and play time, but larger dogs need to “stretch out.”

And some older dogs just don’t care to do a 2-hour hike.

My friend Pete has a Shar Pei named Ollie, and they go for long walks every day – at least two hours every day!  I think Pete and Ollie do their long walks twice a day. 

Do I have the energy to play with her in the evening, when I get home from work? 

So, you’ve had a long, hard, tiring day at work.  Is playing with puppy the very last thing on your mind?  In many ways, having a puppy (or an adult dog, as well) is like having a child.  You have to give them some attention.

Many dogs need a lot of exercise.  Did you know that some dogs that aren’t provided with sufficient exercise become difficult and destructive?

And that leads to a related question.

What’s My New Baby to Do at Home Alone All Day? 

That’s a whole new kettle of fish, isn’t it?  Are you leaving the dog at home alone all day?  What’s he supposed to do, all cooped up inside your place?  Now, you really gotta walk him when you get home!

Take a look at this https://wetnosecentral.com/what-is-rex-doing-while-im-gone/.

What’s my “Patience Quotient”? 

No matter whether you get a puppy from a reputable breeder or adopt an adult dog from a shelter, one thing is for sure:  That dog is going to have to be trained to fit into the way you and your family live.  You will likely be the one providing that training.

With a puppy, you’re starting from scratch.  Do you have the patience to train him?  Can you teach her?  You can’t  give up – even when she pees on or chews up your $900 Manolos! 

What happens when he poops on your new, expensive sofa?

Or bites you?  This will definitely happen with puppies.

Do you give up?  Do you give her back?  (Assuming that’s even possible.) 

With an adult dog, perhaps some of that training has already been done.

The Average Lifespan of a Dog is 10 to 12 Years

This is kind of a marriage.  You know, “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward, until death do us part.” 

There is no question Puppy will honor those vows – but will you?  Can you?

Chihuahuas are the longest livers; they can live for as long as 18 years.  On the other hand, you might only enjoy the company of your Bernese Mountain Dog for 6 to 9 years.

Are you in for the long haul?

Dogs Are A Big Financial Expense

Without doubt, a dog comes with major financial expenses, that include good quality food, annual vet check-ups, toys, training costs and more.  Ever heard of a bully stick?  You might need one of those, too.  Over the years, that adds up to quite a bit of money. 

Can you afford to have a pooch?

Of course, having a lifetime companion like this is more than worth it because they bring health benefits, happiness and peace of mind.  Priceless.

The Bottom Line

Give careful consideration before getting a dog.  On the one hand, it can be awesome sharing life with such a loving creature.  On the other hand, dogs are a big responsibility; they require a lot of care, training and supplies – meaning they need you, your time, your energy, physical interaction, patience and money.

It all comes down to these answers: 

Are we are a fit? 

Am I energetic enough to give this new family member walks, play time and obedience training sessions every day?

Do I have the money, time and patience to properly care and provide for her?

Give it some thought.

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Resources:  PetCareRX (https://www.petcarerx.com/), Bully Sticks (https://www.bestbullysticks.com/what-are-bully-sticks), https://www.manoloblahnik.com/us/, American Kennel Club (www.akc.org), The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (pdsa.org.uk), 

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