Having a dog is fun and lightens the mood around the house. A dog, however, is no toy and has lots of physical, financial and emotional needs. Here are some things to consider before getting a dog, or to reconsider whether your current dog’s needs are being met:
Dogs need fresh water and shade. Always. It is also good to have some cool flooring for the summer time, as well as fans or AC available for your pup. Certain breeds feel the heat more than others, so if you live in a hot climate, make sure you check before you buy or adopt. The water should be clean and fresh, which means washing the water bowl daily and replacing the water often.
Dogs need a shelter. They are like us, and don’t dig the cold or rain. Your dog should have a space to stay in either of these situations. My puppies have blankets that they love to cuddle with during the winter, and it’s not a bad idea to have a doggie house, since they usually love the feeling of their own space.
Dogs pee and poop, and sometimes, even throw up. Sounds ridiculous, but amazingly some people get frustrated with having to pick up after their dogs, as if their natural necessities were their faults. If you don’t have enough space for them to ‘go’ when you are not in the house, consider potty training them onto ‘doggie diapers’ so you don’t find unwelcomed surprises around the house.
Dogs need walks. Depending on the breed, age and dog, they can be very active. Some are not active at all, but need the exercise. Having a dog means walking every day, ideally twice a day. If your dog is hyper around the house, consider longer walks to burn off some energy.
Pet stores+ vet visits = expensive! In our house, our dogs are our babies. Therefore, we don’t think twice about their needs. However, if the idea of dishing some hard earned cash whenever your pooch needs some special care makes you cringe….get some fish. No, your dog does not need clothes and designer carriers, but basic needs add up!
Dogs need love. If none of the other items made you change your mind, think about how much time you have to devote to your dogs. Dogs are needy animals. If you cannot be bothered, look for another pet. This does not mean you can’t have a dog if you have a full-time job, but it does mean your puppy will be expecting some well-earned attention when you get home.