Everyone wants to keep a dog in their home as a family member. Dogs are considered one of the most popular pets and they can be great companions to humans.
However, keeping a dog at home can be troublesome at times. Issues such as how to take care of her, what to feed her, what if she potty anywhere, hygiene issue, etc, are part of what every dog owner must learn to manage.
Getting a pet dog is fun and she can be a great family member, only if you teach and train her well. I have seen dog owners who are so frustrated and feeling annoyed with their dogs because of dog behavioural problems.
This is simply because some owners do not know how to deal with the issue and they do not know how to properly train their dogs the house rules.
Therefore, if you are planning to get a dog, you must get yourself prepared. So what you need to know before getting a dog? Here are 5 important factors that you must consider…
1. Do you have enough time for your dog?
This is one of the most important factors of all, do you have enough time? Keeping a dog as a pet is the same as taking care of a baby.
If you do not want your dogs to develop behavioural problems, you must allocate enough time to teach and train her. You must spend time interacting with her so that you will become the pack leader and get her respect.
Do you know that most dog behavioural problems are caused by the lack of time interacting with dogs?
If you plan to get a dog for fun once in a while and you can’t spend much time with her, by all means, cancel your thought.
Most dogs have a lifespan of more than 10 years, so you must consider whether you can build a good relationship with your dog for at least a decade. Are you ready for it?
2. The cost of keeping a dog.
Depending on your budget, it can be costly to adopt a dog, especially expensive and rare dog breeds.
Do you know that getting a Golden Retriever puppy can cost about $1800 to $2000 in the US? By the way, this does not include other stuff that you are going to buy for your dogs.
For instance, you may need to buy dog foods for the long-term, dog toys, and probably a crate or two for you newly bought puppy. There are also other hidden costs that you may not notice such as dog insurance and health cost.
After all, you have bought the dog and might as well just buy all the things that required for your dogs, right?
Therefore, consider your budget before getting yourself a dog.
3. Can you provide the right environment and space?
Depending on where you live, the environment can be different and not suitable for your dog. The weather may affect your dog’s living condition too.
Not only that, do think about if there are any parks nearby that you can bring your dog there. If you are staying in the high-rise, it is alright, but make sure you bring your dog out for running regularly.
The ideal is living in a landed property with some land for your dog to move around. Other solutions for the limited space issue would be getting a dog crate or a dog grass.
You will keep your dog for years, so make sure you do not confine her in a small space that she cannot move much.
Dogs should be active and you need to let them run around often. If there are no parks around your area, you should consider other alternatives then.
4. Hygiene and health related issues.
Can you commit to making sure your dog is clean and bacteria-free? A very important point to remember is that because you are going to keep the dog for long-term, and if you have babies or children at home, hygiene issue will be even more important.
We have seen cases where some people are allergic to dogs due to their heavy coat, never let this become a problem for you.
Bath your dog when necessary, bring her for check-ups when the time is right and make sure you take care of her cleanliness.
Try to avoid sleeping together with your dog on the same bed and try not to let your dog lick your face. If you cannot avoid these, change your bed sheet regularly and wash your face after she licks you.
5. Can you teach and train your dog?
Teaching and training your dog can be simple, but they will require your time and your effort.
You can always start with simple training such as teach your dog to come to you when called, ask her to sit, train her to crawl or give paw, etc.
They are fun to do, but you must make sure you have the time and patience for them.
Other dog behavioural issue such as barking non-stop for nothing can be very annoying especially if you are staying in the high-rise. Your neighbours may complain and it is very disturbing.
Thus, teaching your dog not to bark and training her with simple house rules are an important factor to consider.
After going through these 5 important factors, do you think you can take good care of your dog? If your answer is a yes, congratulations, you can go ahead and get yourself a dog.
However, if your answer is a no, do not be discouraged. Instead, learn to commit to taking care of your dog. Learn to make your dog part of your family member and truly take the responsibility as a proud dog owner.
Max Clayton is a dog lover and he shares his knowledge on taking care of dogs, keeping them happy and how to train them. You can learn more about him through his blog at Max Dog Training (http://MaxDogTraining.com) or follow him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MaxDogTraining).