We love our family dog, well, dogs. Our family adores these three crazy fur balls.
The decision to adopt these dogs was not something we took lightly
If you have landed here, you are probably considering a family dog but are on the fence about it.
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself before getting a dog.
1. Do you, the parent, want to take care of a dog?
A lot of people get dogs for their kids without factoring in the age of the kids and the appropriate level of responsibility to expect from them.
The recommended age for such a responsibility is 14 years old. Before the age of 14, the parents should consider themselves the primary caregivers of the family dog.
Kid under 14 can do tasks related to pet care, but the animal should be considered the parents responsibility.
2. Do you have the time and inclination to properly train a dog?
If you aren’t going to have the time and desire to properly train a dog, then you should probably not get one.
You will do a terrible disservice to the animal by not training it. Many dogs end up in the shelters due to poor behavior. This isn’t the dogs’ fault, yet they are the ones who suffer most for it.
I spend 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening working on training commands. This doesn’t include the time spent playing and exercising…that is further on…
3. Do you have the ability to exercise the dog?
Most of the popular breeds today, such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, German Shepherds and Huskies are all “working breeds.”
What this means is that they were bred to do jobs and have stamina to do that job for hours on end. In order for a working breed to make a good family dog, it needs a lot of mental stimulation and lots of exercise.
One of our dogs is a German Shepherd mix breed. He very much displays all the qualities of a GSD. He sheds a lot, he has a ton of energy, is very strong, extremely loyal and incredibly smart.
We have plenty of space on our property for him to run. If I didn’t have the space for him to run, I would have never adopted him. He needs at least an hour a day of real, hard exercise for him to be a gentleman in the house.
I also play games with him intermittently throughout the day. It is great stress relief for me and he loves it. Win-win.
Long walks, dog parks and daily hiking are all great alternatives to having a place for your dog to run. You just have to be committed to doing those things with your dog.
4. Are you willing and able to provide proper veterinary care for the dog?
Proper veterinary care can be expensive.
Do you have the funds to spay/neuter, purchase monthly heartworm prevention, monthly flea and tick prevention, shots and any other illnesses or issues that need veterinary assistance?
These things all add up pretty fast, trust me.
If your budget is already tight, with very little wiggle room, it might not be the right time to get a family dog.
After reading this do you think you are ready for the responsibility of dog ownership? If you answered “yes” to the above 4 questions, then I would agree that you are probably ready to commit to a family dog.
Dogs are fun and make great companions but it is important to remember that when you adopt a dog you are committing to it for its entire life.
I hope your found this helpful in making your dog ownership decision!