Many families across the country have made the choice to adopt a furry friend into their lives. In fact, approximately 44% of all households in the United States have at least one dog. If you’re on the fence and thinking that it might be time for you to get a dog, here are a few things you need to know before you add a pet to your family.
Dogs take a lot of work.
The average adult takes 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day, but if you’re adopting a dog, expect to be moving much more often than just that. However, that can benefit the entire family. Walking the dog, as a family, can improve the health of both the parents and kids. Following more than 1,000 families with activity trackers, researchers found that children would engage in more exercise if their parents did too. Going for walks isn’t just great for the dog, everyone gains something. Most dog breeds require frequent exercise and a lot of activity in order to stay healthy and entertained. If you’re not able to put in the time to exercise with and bond with your dog, look for a pet that requires less active involvement.
Dogs will eat anything, but that doesn’t mean they should.
Dogs often can and will show interest in just about any food you’re eating, but odds are, they shouldn’t be eating what you are. Take chocolate, for example; just about every person out there appreciates chocolate at least a bit. However, for dogs, your favorite candy could be poison. Milk chocolate, a popular form of candy for bars, includes 10 to 20% cocoa solids including cocoa and cocoa butter, and more than 12% milk solids. These ingredients can do serious harm to your dog if they get into your chocolate. Be careful with what you feed your dog once you adopt one.
Dogs aren’t cheap.
Even if you’re taking in a rescue dog, the costs associated with owning a dog can be steep. Between medical expenses, food, toys, beds, and even repairing things that get damaged while you’re training them, dogs can end up being a major expense. If you’re not ready to take care of your dog even when the costs start climbing, take some time to save up first. You want to make sure you can care for your dog’s needs no matter what expenses might come up.
Different dogs have different needs.
No two breeds are alike, and even within the same breed, dogs can have incredibly varying temperaments. When you’re considering what type of dog you’d like to welcome into your family, remember the space and exercise requirements of your preferred breed. If you don’t have a large yard or space for a bigger dog to run around, look for a smaller breed.
Older dogs have lots of love to give.
Many people assume that they should look for a puppy or younger dog when they’re searching for a pet, but don’t forget about senior pets. Many older rescues don’t receive the same amount of attention due to their age, but these friendly animals need homes just as much as younger ones. Additionally, older dogs have settled into their personality, so you can know right away if they’ll be a good fit for your family.
Adopting a dog is a serious responsibility, but by considering all of these points, you’ll be able to decide if you and your family are ready to bring a furry friend into your home. What advice would you give to first-time dog owners?