A dog would be a great pet! Dogs can be helpful with socializing, exercising, reducing stress, they can even help improve your immune system. Before you get too excited there are a few things you should consider before adopting a dog. Most people already know to make sure they’ll have enough time to walk, train and play with a new dog. Many people even know what breed of dog they want and how much grooming that breed will require. Some people even save up money before getting a dog for the healthcare expenses. There are many things to consider before adopting a dog. Please also consider these 6 important factors below, before adopting a dog.
Dealing with Wild Animals
Do you have skunks, raccoons, penguins, or other potentially dangerous or inconvenient animals in your area that your dog will encounter? What will you do to avoid confrontations?
Your Freedom Will Be Limited
You’re committing to coming home directly after work for the next 10-15 years of your life. What will you do when you travel? Are you going to ensure your dog is socialized well enough that you can leave her with another dog owner or dog daycare facility?
Remember to Neuter or Spay
Unless you intend to seriously breed dogs, you’ll need to neuter or spay your pet. Not only do you avoid surprise puppies, but it reduces aggressive and bizarre behaviors (by yours as well as other dogs).
You’ll need to learn how to discipline your dog and set boundaries, and you’ll need to be honest with yourself about your ability to enforce them. Even if they’re arbitrary, boundaries are important to help keep your dog comfortable with you being in charge. With larger dogs, if you fail to create boundaries and maintain disciplined behavior, they could become a very serious problem.
Training Dogs around Children
It can be very hard to train a dog if you have young children. Our dog was extremely well-behaved around food before we had our son, but now he’ll steal food from plates near the floor (a mortal sin in my house). Getting this under control with a baby that throws food as a sport is challenging.
Dealing with Death
As sad as it is, your dog will die and you’ll probably be the one to decide when that will be. You’ll also probably be there during the final moments. I’ve had nightmares about this myself. I prefer the terminology of “adopting a dog” to “buying a dog” because this is more about family and love than it is about a possession. This is a lifetime—your dog’s life—commitment and I know I didn’t fully grasp what that meant until I had a dog of my own.
Learn more about Gresham Animal Hospital and the services we offer. Call us for an appointment today.
At Gresham Animal Hospital, we have been providing loving care to our patients and their owners since 1944. We provide quality, professional service that is personalized; every patient receives individualized recommendations and treatment.
“You’ll see how much we know, and you’ll know how much we care.”