Having a family pet is a great way to make the most of your time at home and make the most out of the home environment. It’s been shown that families with pets usually have happier lives so this is one of the main reasons why a lot of parents decide it’s time to bring a dog into their home.
While it’s the most usual reason, some parents like to do it because it helps encourage responsible behavior and it gives their kids something to do that doesn’t require them to be glued to a TV, computer, or phone screen. In short, having a dog around makes a lot of sense for improving home life.
However, before you commit to picking out a dog, you need to ask yourself some serious questions on whether it’s the right time to get one. Here are 7 reasons that will help you realize if your family is ready for a dog.
1. You’re Ready to Have a Pet
The first thing seems like something obvious but if you actually feel like you’re ready to have a pet then it might be time. What does this mean? Well, you’ve done most of the things on this list that will be mentioned but also that mentally you’ve gone through the idea of having a pet in your home and know what kind of responsibility it is. You don’t want to second it guess it at the last minute, so taking plenty of time to come to the conclusion that you’re mentally ready is a must when deciding on bringing a dog into the family.
2. Your Kids Are Responsible Enough to Take Care of One
It’s obviously not just about you though. Even though you or your partner are the authority figure(s), you still need to let your child or children know that they have to be responsible enough to take care of a dog too. You don’t have to be an expert right away, and in fact, if you look at HNH Dog’s website, you can see that getting dog training is a wise choice but you want your kids to grasp how important it is to care for a living animal. If they can understand the weight of having a dog in the house, they could be ready to take on the responsibility too.
3. You’re Financially Stable
This is something not many households realize when it comes to getting a dog. Yes, they’re less of a financial dependency as a child is, but it still costs a lot of money to have a dog around. If you’re purchasing a puppy, it can be a lot of money, but even if you adopt (which is usually a smarter choice anyway), it’s going to cost a lot to feed a dog, get shots and vet bills, and miscellaneous things like toys. Pets aren’t cheap, so if you’re not financially stable yet, don’t make a dog suffer because you can’t care for it.
4. You Know What to Expect
It’s likely you’ve had a dog before, many kids have one growing up, so if that’s the case then you’re well on your way to knowing what to expect. This helps in educating your kids on how much of a big deal it is to walk a dog, play with it, clean up after it, and care for it, but if you’ve never had a dog, you might not know what to expect. It’s like caring for a child and it’s a full-time job. You can’t just leave a puppy alone for hours while you go out and do things, it’s a commitment. If you understand how much work it takes to care for a dog then you’re closer to having one in the family.
5. You Have Time to Dedicate to Caring for It
It’s a recurring theme here that you need to dedicate a lot of time to caring for a dog. They’re not accessories or toys, they are living creatures that need attention and love. That love and attention mean you have to dedicate plenty of time out of your day to accommodate their natural schedule. That means taking them for walks, socializing them with other dogs and humans, taking them outside to go to the bathroom, feeding them, and letting them sleep. Make sure your schedule doesn’t limit how much time you have to care for it because if it does limit it, you might not be ready.
6. You Live Somewhere Safe for Dogs
There are a lot of reasons why you might not have gotten a dog yet and one of them is because your neighborhood or your apartment building isn’t right for them. Dogs need room to play or at least a park nearby you can visit to let them have fun. Keeping them cramped up inside is bad for their development and mental health. Similarly, you don’t want to live in a bad neighborhood where they could get stolen or even hurt because of frequent traffic. You should also know by now if your apartment allows pets too.
7. You’ve Done Your Research on the Right Dog Breed
Lastly, you want to be certain that you’ve done enough research on the different types of dog breeds out there so that you can find the one that is going to make the most sense in your household. There are big dogs, medium dogs, and little dogs, and then there are plenty of breeds within those main categories. Some are more playful, some shed, some are hypoallergenic, some have higher anxiety. If you’ve done your homework and finally found one that will make the most sense for your family, you are one step closer to owning a dog.
Getting a dog for your family is a big commitment. It’s not like buying a new TV, you need to do a lot of serious research and soul-searching to determine if you are mentally prepared to have a dog in the home and you are materially ready as well. If you can answer yes to the 7 reasons listed here, then you are likely good to go.