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Things You Should Know
Before Getting a Dog

Before you rush into getting a dog, consider these responsibilities

A dog looking attentively, with tongue out
Whether you are on your own looking for a company, or your children want
a pet to play with, dogs are usually your best choice for wonderful pets.

Throughout history and all around the world, dogs have always been among the most popular pets. They're loving and loyal, friendly and fiercely devoted. Depending on the breed, they can be companions or protectors; they can be workers or they can be friends. There's no better pet for families than a dog! They love and are loved by people of all ages. And having a dog can also be a great way for children to learn responsibility.

But they're also a good choice for people who live alone to make them feel less lonely. All of this combines to make dogs highly desirable as pets. Getting one can be life-changing in all the best ways. However, there are some things you should know before getting a dog. So don't go rushing to the nearest kennel just yet!

Different dogs for different folks - choosing the right breed or mix

One of the most important things you should know before getting a dog is what you can expect from different breeds. Of course, every dog is unique and a lot of their behavior will depend on their training. But there are certain traits shared across a whole breed. If you want a dog to take on adventurous hiking trails with you, for example, you should be looking at high-energy breeds that do well with lots of physical activity such as huskies, German shepherds, and border collies. If, on the other hand, you'd prefer a lap dog that will spend its days lazing on the couch with you, you should turn to breeds like basset hounds, bulldogs, and pugs. Either way, thorough research on different breeds is a must.

a golden retriever in a grass field
Everyone has their favourite breed, so before you go picking the right breed
make sure it's the one you like, or your children will want to play with.

Things you should know before getting a dog for your child

Children love dogs. Most of the time, dogs love children too. But some breeds are more suitable for kids than others. Especially if your child is young, make sure you get a tolerant, easily trainable and well-tempered breed (like a retriever or spaniel). You should also keep in mind that most kids will need help caring for a dog. So if you're not willing to take on that kind of responsibility, consider a different idea for an unusual gift for your child instead.

More than just fun and games: dogs are a lot of work

Many people have an idealized picture of what owning a dog is like. Sure, there's a lot to be gained: companionship, loyalty, friendship, happiness. But it doesn't come free - you must also put in a lot of effort. You'll probably have to get up earlier for daily walks, clean your house more often, spend more on food and medical expenses. And that's just the day-to-day things! Consider major life changes: a new partner may not get along with your dog, moving with your furry friend will be completely different from doing it alone, even changing jobs can affect your pet's routine.

Are you sure you're ready for a long-term, round-the-clock commitment?

Dogs are not just there when you want them around. You need to take care of them 24/7 for as long as they live. So if you're only looking for a buddy to take on a hunting trip once in a while and forget about the rest of the year, call your neighbor from down the street! Because when you get a dog you're committing yourself to take care of them around the clock, not just when it suits you.

a chihuahua lying on a couch
One of the things to know before you get a dog is to make sure
you're ready to spend the next 15 years taking care of them.

One of the most important things you should know before getting a dog is that taking care of one requires a lot of time and money

Taking care of a dog is kind of like taking care of a young child. They depend on you for everything, they eat special food, they have their own medical professional and they will want all the toys and accessories you can get them. All of this requires a lot of time and money. You will also need to go out of your way to provide dogs with things you yourself take for granted. For example, you will need to puppy-proof your house just like you would when preparing for a baby. If you move with your pet, you'll need to find specialty services on movinmurdy.com for pet relocation. When you travel, your dog will need its own passport, transport and maybe even quarantine. Once again, all of this will be an additional cost you need to be ready for.

Things you should know before getting a dog from a breeder: buying vs. adopting

Among the things you should know before getting a dog is how to do it the right way. There's a general consensus among animal welfare organizations that adopting a dog is preferable to buying one. This way, inhumane puppy mills and pure-breeding which causes a host of health issues are discouraged. It also gives abandoned dogs a second chance at a happy life. And to top it all off, it's better for your wallet! So make sure you look into dog shelters in your area.

Remember that dogs are living creatures too - they have their own needs and wants

One of the most important things to remember when getting a dog is that dogs are not there solely for you. They are living, breathing creatures. As such, they have their own needs and wants. As a dog owner, it is your job to fulfill those needs to the best of your ability and give your dog a happy, healthy life. If you can't do that, you shouldn't get a dog at all.

a brown dog with his tongue out
Giving your dog a long, happy and healthy life should be your priority,
which will also make your life more fulfiling.

Take good care of your dog's health

Like humans, dogs can get sick or injured. Unlike humans, they can't communicate what is wrong or fix it themselves. So it's your job to make sure your dog is as healthy as it can be. This includes preventative measures like informing yourself on potential health problems for certain breeds, feeding your dog nutritious and healthy food, protecting them from parasites, vaccinating them regularly and keeping a watchful eye on them when you take them along on one of your outdoor adventures. But also curative measures like taking them to the vet, treating them with prescribed medication and making sure they don't overexert themselves after they've been injured.

Be loving, patient and kind

There are so many things you should know before getting a dog. But if there's one thing that's more important than all others and that belies all other tips we could give you, it's this: having a dog should be all about loving them. Dogs are not your toys or decorations; they're our friends, even family members. So everything you do should come from a place of love. Remember - you are your dog's whole world and they love you unconditionally. You should return the favor with care, patience, and kindness in every interaction.

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