Dogs can be a great addition to family life; however, there are things you need to think about before bringing a dog into your home. They require regular care and are an additional responsibility, so if you already have a large family then you will need to be prepared to sacrifice even more of your time.
There are some main issues you will need to discuss with your family before you get a dog. Firstly, you will need to think about your budget. Dog food, veterinary bills, flea and tick medication and accessories such as beds, dog toys and other items can be costly, so it is important to think about what you can afford. The last thing you want to do is bring a dog into your family home only to find that you cannot afford to provide it with proper care.
Another thing to think about is what breed of dog will be suitable for your family. Dogs have different temperaments, so it is important to familiarise yourself with different types of breeds to see which one will best suit your family and lifestyle. Choosing the right breed of dog is also important if you have children. You will need to find a dog that your children love and one that will love your children equally. It is best to avoid large breeds and particularly those known to have aggressive temperaments. If you are thinking of purchasing a dog from a seller privately, then you may wish to arrange a visit with your children so that you can see how the dog interacts with them.
You will also need to decide whether your home is suitable for a dog to live in. If you have a large family, then your home may already feel a little cramped. Dogs take up lots of space, not just themselves but also because they will require accessories such as a dog bed, dog toys and plenty of cupboard space for their food.
Dogs require lots of attention and regular walks, so you will need to think about how much time you would be able to commit to your family dog. Some dog breeds can be very needy and will require lots of attention and up to two walks a day. You will need to think about whether there will be someone at home most of the time to watch your dog and let it out of the house when necessary. It is also important to know the basics of dog health. Dogs can be susceptible to flea infestations, so you will need to provide care as and when they need it. As well as visits to the vet, you will need to provide your dog with products such as worming tablets, dog flea treatments and tick remover to help clear up any pest problems.
By taking the time to think about what owing a dog involves, you will have a better chance of selecting a breed that is not only suitable for your home but also one that provides the perfect companion for you and your family.
Image by David Lounsbury