When considering making an addition to your family household, there’s no denying the appeal of a loving, adorable canine. Dogs are known for their unconditional love, unwavering loyalty, and family-friendly demeanor. However, before making the decision to open up your house to a dog, or any pet, it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs of their behavioral and physical needs.
While adopting a dog is an incredible and selfless act, too often we lose sight of the logistics. How do you actually take care of a dog? Although dogs are considerably easier to take care of than kids, they do require a moderate level of responsibility from the owner. Not only do they have physical needs, like feeding, exercise, and shelter, they also require a great deal of social interaction. Just like us, dogs are complicated creatures with both obvious and subtle needs – and these needs can potentially affect your family dynamic in both good and bad ways. Dogs are excellent pets to have, but, unless you are confident in your ability to provide it with the appropriate amount of attention and focus, it may not be time to stop by the pound.
However, there are certainly several ways to prepare yourself for life with a dog. Check out the list below to find out crucial information about these fantastic pets. No matter what point you are in the decision-making process, these steps can help you figure out if it’s the right time to bring home a precious pup.
1. Dogs cost a pretty penny. According to the ASPCA, the annual cost of care for a small dog is $420, a medium dog is $620, and a large dog $780.
2. Just like with children, dogs can often stir up differentiating viewpoints among owners. Throughout it’s time with a family, dogs can cause up to 2,000 arguments between co-owners.
3. Just like humans, dogs have to go to the bathroom several times a day. However, unlike humans, they do not clean up after themselves. On average, dogs poop between one and five times a day – so get ready for clean-up duty!
4. Dogs are loyal, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re always obedient! Training a puppy often takes months, so be patient!
5. While dogs may not love wearing a collar, it’s incredibly important to make sure your pooch is protected. Picking out a collar that matches your dog’s size and personality is just as fun as it is important!
6. Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth often! Don’t worry, they’ll love it – flavors come in chicken, beef, and pork.
7. There are several foods to watch out for when your dog is looking for scraps under the table! Among them are avocados, grapes, chocolate, garlic, and onion. All of these foods can make your pup very sick, so it’s important to stay cautious.
8. Dogs are incredibly loyal creatures and, because of that, it’s important to ask yourself if you’ll be able to take care of a dog for the duration of its life. Changes in ownership often cause emotional trauma for these animals.
9. Before bringing home a dog, make sure the members of your household are not allergic. If so, consider adopting a hypo-allergenic dog like a poodle or shih-tzu.
10. While different dogs are capable of different things, most dogs are very strong. Make sure you are able to handle this type of rowdiness before bringing one home!
11. Bringing a dog home is a big step, therefore, it’s important to make sure that everyone in your house is on board. Taking care of a dog requires full commitment from everyone involved!
12. Just like humans, dogs have varying personality types. Searching for a dog that aligns with your personality may seem over the top, but it will improve your relationship in the long run.
13. Make sure your lifestyle allows you to spend quality time with your pet. Whether you’re traveling, working, or out on the town a lot, find time to spend with your pet!
14. If you do travel often, consider adopting a pet that can come with you. There are plenty of travel options for animals and, even though they may be costly, they are something to consider.
15. Talk to your dogs! Sure they may not always understand you, but the sound of your voice is still comforting to them!
16. Consider adopting a dog instead of purchasing one from a puppy farm or store. Especially in urban areas, animal shelters are incredibly crowded and could use the support!
17. Brush up on existing information about dogs. If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this list, you are on the way to becoming a quality, informed pet owner. Keep it up!
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