6 Important questions before getting a dog
The only good thing that happened during "Covid year" was that people spending most of the time at home could have adopted or have gotten a new doggie. It was a great surprise that almost all shelters worldwide were announcing they have no dogs in the house. Do you think about getting one too? Good for you! Just don't forget having a dog is a commitment for 10-15 years and the puppy will be completely depending on you.
Following questions can help you to find out whether you're ready for it or not. Be honest with yourself.
1) Why do I want a dog at all?
Is it because you like furry company, or do you just love taking care of someone? Do you want your children to have a positive relationship with animals, and you know that living with a pet supports their mental and value development? Cool...Those are the good reasons. On the opposite side - if you want to buy a dog just because it fits to your big yard, or cause the puppy is simply soooo cute; or because your kid has a birthday - it is not good enough reason to buy it. Sooner or later you'll regret it.
2) Do I mind the dog needs my time?
You'd have to get up every morning and go for a walk, rain or sun, weekend or not... The same when you arrive home after work, or at night. The dog needs enough experiences to get socialized and trained. You'd have to take him with you on your vacay, or pay somebody who will, such as dog-sitter, or doggy day care. When you have a family, it's easier, but all family members should share the responsibilities and agree on rules who and when will go out with the dog. Do not buy a dog if you're already too busy and can't find time even just for yourself. Be clear about your future plans (career, family, traveling...) and think about if the care of your dog remains the same if they will be fulfilled.
3) How are we going to live together?
What spot at your home is going to belong to your dog? Your bed, or a piece of living room/kitchen? Or, do you want a guard dog for outside? Let's think about it carefully. If you are buying a larger breed to secure your garden or just need your dog to stay outside, you should prepare an insulated outdoor kennel and 24/7 access to water. Think about where the dog is going to "do his business" as well. Give your dog a few interactive toys to kill the time he is waiting for you. Don't forget that even dogs that are staying outside, need to be in touch with you and go on walks. If your dog supposed to be inside all the time, place his bed to a place where he feels comfortable and safe. Try to choose a breed that is not barking, not destroying and is friendly to other dogs. It will help you to have a good relationship with all your neighbors.
4) Is everyone in our family up for it?
Your whole family should be happy with getting a new family member and agree to help with whatever it takes. If you'd buy a dog just because you want it, it can cause a lot of troubles and fights at home. That's not worth it.
5) What breed do I want?
We're living in time of designer dogs, such as Frenchies, CockerPoos, CavaPoos, basically anything mixed with a Poodle that doesn't shed. Forget those fashionable breeds. By buying them from not verified breeders you support puppy mill's business where dog females are held to have as many puppies, and as many times of the year, as possible. And not only those poor things suffer, but also due the crossing of two of more breeds together, the puppies often carry genetically determined diseases and are sold in a poor health from unsatisfactory conditions in which they were born.
Here is how to choose:
You should choose a breed that is compatible with your personality and your lifestyle. If you don't have enough time for a dog training, choose a smaller/medium breed that is easy to teach something (Boarder Collie, Toy Poodle, Shih-Tzu...). If you have kids, choose a breed that is friendly to them (Labrador, Vizsla...). If you want an active dog for every day run, bike ride or hike, don't choose heavy breeds as Cane Corso or St. Bernard, but maybe a Pointer or a Schnauzer. Consider also the whole year weather conditions, so your Husky does not suffer in super hot Floridian heat.
6) Can I afford to take a good care of my new dog?
Veterinary care can be very expensive. Ask other dog owners in your neighborhood to recommend you a good vet. Read reviews and compare experiences of others to choose the right one. It is better to have some extra cash prepared for unexpected expenses at the vet as well. Above that, you'd need to buy the necessary basics, such as a dog bed, dog collar and leash, dog bowls, food and treats or a brush and shampoo. Make a list of these things to be sure you got this covered.
Last one...are you ready for a new family member? ;)