Before Bringing Home That First Dog

Written on 01/10/2014 by Ron Miller in Puppy Guides
Posted by: Randi Case, DC

Have you fallen in love at first sight with an adorable puppy? Good for you and the pup, but do you REALLY know how bringing home a dog is going to drastically alter how you live? I suppose the following tips are best suited for those people who have never owned a dog, so I will focus on first timers. Once a person has owned a dog they already have a good idea of what is involved.

There are several things the first time dog owner needs to consider before forking over the cash for the pooch. This is not like buying a new toy or car you play with only when you feel like it. Bringing home a dog is in essence adding another member to the family. If you have never been a parent, or for those with “out of the nest” kids, this cute little puppy is going to become your “new” baby”.

I am all for adding a dog to the family, but first off you need to know who will be primarily responsible for the dog. Taking care of feeding, fresh water at all times, housebreaking, exercising, and behavioral training are chief among the tasks this individual can look forward to. Oh, bathing and grooming also!

Next is the expense of owning a dog. Just as gas, our food, rent, and you name it has increased in price, so has the cost of owning a dog. Is your budget capable of absorbing this additional expense? I am speaking about more than just buying dog food, a collar, and a leash. There are vet bills, vaccinations, grooming expenses, special dog supplies like a dog bed and dog shampoos, toys, treats, and more. Sit down and be honest with yourself concerning the expense involved, because your dog is going to cost you more money than you realize.

If you have made it over the first few questions we should look at where you live. Is the home or apartment/condo large enough for the breed of dog you want? A small living space and a large dog usually do not work, so consider a smaller dog. Do you have a place for the dog to go out and do his or her business?

How about the job you have. Does this work require you to travel and be away from home for days at a time? If so, who will care for the dog until you return?

As you can see, there are many things to consider for the first time dog owner. Bringing home a dog is something I would encourage all people to do, but only if you know what is involved.

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