You may have dreamed of getting a dog since you were a kid, but your parents wouldn’t let you have one. Or maybe your family has always had dogs, and you can’t wait to carry on the tradition. But getting a dog is not like buying a car or a new computer. Dogs require you to spend time with them, most of all. Here are 5 signs that show you might be ready to adopt a dog.
1. You Have Time to Train and Play with Your Dog
Dogs are social animals. They love companionship, and if it was up to them, they would be with you 24 hours of every day. Fortunately, they’ll settle for much less than that. But you do have to make the commitment to spend a significant portion of your waking time with the dog.
If you’re getting a puppy or a younger dog, you should plan some time to train them. Even an older dog can benefit from training sessions. Besides, these can be fun for both of you as you’re learning to communicate with each other. You also need time to provide active play for your dog. You don’t have to go running with him, although most dogs would love that, but going for walks with him and throwing the ball or frisbee for him can take up many hours of your free time. Fortunately, that’s a lot of fun.
Your dog also needs downtime and cuddle time, too, but that’s easier to combine with other activities you’re already engaging in, such as reading a book or watching TV.
2. You Have the Means to Care for Him
You don’t have to be rich to own a dog, but you do have to have the means to care for him. If you’re already struggling to feed your family, then having to purchase dog food may put you over the limit on your grocery budget. You should also think about paying for the vet for regular checkups, shots, and when your dog gets ill.
For unexpected vet visits, it helps to establish a savings fund that you pay into every month. You could also consider pet health insurance to see if that would be beneficial for you and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
3. Be Ready for a Long-Term Commitment
Dogs don’t live as long as some birds do, but even 12 or 16 years is a long time to commit to caring for an animal. It’s easy to see how a dog can fit into your life right now, but can you say for certainty that you are ready to care for a dog for the next 10+ years? If the answer is no or maybe, then you should rethink the decision to adopt a dog right now. After all, having to find a new home for a pet can be traumatic for you and the dog.
4. Your Family/Roommate Is on Board
Your dog will become a member of your family. And dog make great companions for people of all types and ages. But you still need to make sure that your family members or your roommates are on board before you bring a dog home from the shelter.
Some people just don’t like dogs, and they probably don’t even know why not. It’s also possible that someone in your immediate family is allergic to dogs. Ideally, you’ll find this out before you bring a dog home. And as much as you really want to have a dog, it’s not worth fighting over if your significant other just isn’t on the same page as you right now.
5. You Know Which Dog Is Right for You
If you’ve been reading books about dogs, researching breeds, and learning about pet adoptions over the last few weeks, then you have a pretty good idea what type of dog you’re looking for. Do you want a small dog that can fit in your purse? Do you prefer a big dog you can go running with? Do you like an older dog who’s a little calmer, or would you prefer a puppy you can spoil?
If you already know the answers to these questions, then you might just be ready to adopt a dog. Now the trick is to not let yourself get distracted when you visit the shelter by big brown puppy eyes. Instead, you should explore the dogs’ temperaments to find out which one is your perfect match.