Password reset details have been sent to your account. Please check your mail for further instructions.
More often than not, when you meet puppies, you're completely smitten by their adorable faces. It's so hard to resist cuddling those fluffy bundles of unlimited joy that a common reaction is to impulsively decide to take them home.
This is exactly where you should pause to think.
Because if you look past those cute faces and focus on daily life, you'll see sleepless nights, potty training, chewed up slippers, training and plenty more. Raising a dog is an incredible joy but it does require a strong commitment on your part. Otherwise, your heart and the dog's will certainly be broken.
Think about it, how many stories have you heard of dogs 'not working out' in a friend or family member's home? While it is never easy for the humans involved to give up a pet, it's all the worse for the dogs because they simply cannot understand what is happening to them. The sad truth is that many families bring home a pet on a whim and many of these relationships don't work out because pets are as heavy a responsibility as anything else.
We've put together a few things to consider if you are thinking of bringing home a furry:
Is your family keen on the idea?
If you live with your family, it is important to take into consideration everyone's feelings. Some members may have allergies to pet hair or dander that makes being around pets difficult. If you want your doggie to be part of the family, try to get everyone onboard.
Are you financially able to support the needs of your dog?
While you don't need to be wildly well off to care for a pet, they will have some expenses every month. Browse through your closest pet store to get an idea of how this number. Don't forget to factor in vet visits, boarding and training costs so you can assess whether or not you can meet your dog's monthly expenses.
Does your landlord/apartment allow pets?
Although legally, no one can prevent you from having a pet, many landlords can make your life difficult. If your living situation makes it difficult for you to have a pet, ask yourself if you want one enough to move.
Do you have an unpredictable work schedule?
Dogs need to have a basic routine down for meals and potty breaks at the very least. While adult dogs can be left alone for 4-5 hours at a time, you still need to make it home in time for dinner and walk. If you can't do this, do you have a partner or a reliable adult who can do this for you?
Do you have the time?
Pups need round the clock attention and at least 4 meals a day. A lot of training and habit formation happens during the puppy stage so your little furball will have many demands on your time. While you lay the foundation of a well-adjusted dog during their formative years, adult dogs do need some of your time to play and bond each day.
If you have to relocate abroad for work, will you be able to take your pet along?
Careers now often come with a clause to relocate abroad. Depending on where you are moving for work, taking your pet along can be difficult. While there are services that help you make the move, it can get pricey. So if you are expecting to relocate or it is something you want, you should take it into consideration before bringing a dog home.
Are you ready to make a commitment?
Ultimately, the most important thing you need to ask yourself is whether you are committed to raising a dog and caring for him or her from the beginning to the end. To do right by doggies means to put their interests first and this responsibility will last for anywhere between 10 and 15 years.
If your answer to any of the above questions was no, then it may be a good idea to rethink your decision to bring home a pupper right now. If you're even a little unsure, the kindest thing to do is to wait until you're at a time in your life where you have the time and resources to commit to a pet. Then you're in for an incredibly rewarding relationship.
If you're not ready, here's what you can do:
This doesn't mean you shouldn't at a later point in your life when you have the time and resources to devote to this special relationship. And in the meantime, there are a number of ways you can spend time with dogs. You can sign up for dog walking or pet sit or volunteer at the closest shelter.