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Three Important Things to Think About Before Getting a New Puppy or Dog
Thinking of Getting a New Puppy or Dog?
Millions of dogs are bought or adopted each year. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®), about 44% of households in the United States have a dog. However, over 6 million dogs a year end up in shelters, and almost 700,000 are euthanized. Many of these situations can be attributed to people picking the wrong dog or puppy for them.
Often, people see a puppy at pet store, or read an ad for a dog for sale, fall in love with the animal, and simply decide to take it home, right then and there. This does work out well for many owners, but it's a much better idea to make a much more considered, and well-informed decision, when you are planning on getting a new dog.
There are many variables that should be considered when getting a new dog, or any new pet. We have detailed three of the most important things to think about when getting a new puppy. Surprisingly, these factors never occur to many people, and the results can be frustrating and sad for owners, and even more serious for the pets themselves.
Dogs Require Time
Many prospective pet owners aren't aware of how much time a dog or puppy will require. They need to be walked a few times each day, fed, played with, house trained, bathed, groomed, taken to the vet, and more. Before getting a dog or puppy, you should ensure that you have enough time to adequately care for a new pet.
Puppies will generally require more time than an adult dog, particularly in the beginning, but not always. Adopting or rescuing an adult dog could require both more time and energy from you. Many rescued dogs are sweet and in need of love and a good home. However, they might also need special attention because of former neglect or mistreatment. If you don't have enough time to adequately deal with the challenges of a rescue, you might want to avoid getting one.
Dog breeds that have high energy levels will generally require more time input than dog breeds that have lower energy levels. Some dog breeds are prone to to having certain health problems and conditions. These animals could require more time than others
If you are interested in a particular breed, make sure you do thorough research to understand how much time that type of dog will need from you. Also, if you want a puppy, make sure that you will have plenty of extra time for the first few months to properly socialize and house train your new pet.
There are Many Expenses Related to Owning a Dog
Many people may not realize how many different expenses there are related to getting and owning a dog. And, these cost can add up quickly. It has been estimated that the average lifetime cost of owning and caring for a dog is over $23,000.
There are initial costs, such as a leash, bowls, a crate for house training, dog toys. There are also regular expenses, like dog food and treats.
The dog itself might be the largest cost if you plan to get a dog from a breeder. Some breeders might charge thousands of dollars for certain, popular breeds. If you have the money, and are set on getting a particular breed, make sure that you do plenty of research and pick a reputable breeder.
If you can't, or don't want to spend thousands of dollars for a new dog, you have other options. Many people adopt puppies or adult dogs from shelters. This can be a great way to find a loving pet that is more affordable. It is generally a good idea to avoid buying a dog from a pet store, as these are animals that often come from "puppy mills."
Spaying or neutering your dog are always recommended, and are an additional expense. Also, veterinarian checkups and vaccinations can be quite costly, and add up, over time.
Also, if your pet is going to be at home alone for extended periods of time, while you are at work or traveling, it is important to take into account the cost of a quality dog walker or pet sitter. Puppies need at least two brief visits a day until they are able comfortably hold their bladder. However, even adult dogs need a mid-day walk if you are at work. It's okay have a trusted neighbor or friend walk your dog, but it is often difficult to find someone who can visit your pet every day.
How much do you spend a year on your dog?
Your Dog's Energy Level Should Match Yours
Not all dog breeds have the same energy level or require the same amount of activity. Certain dogs and dog breeds will need a couple of solid hours of regular exercise each day in order to be healthy and happy. On the other hand, there are some dog breeds, such as certain types of lapdogs, that may be content with a couple of brief potty breaks a day, and may be okay spending most of their time lying on the couch or your lap.
Be sure to think about how much activity and exercise a particular dog or dog breed will need, and whether or not you have the energy to make sure they are able to get it. If you are highly active and spend a lot of time outdoors, and you plan on taking your pet with you, then a high-energy dog could be ideal for you. However, if you tend to spend a lot of time relaxing or watching television, it's probably more appropriate to get a dog that is less active.
When you get a new dog or puppy, you are adding a new member to your family. So, it's important that you make sure your new family member is a good fit for your current family and situation.
Always do plenty of research on any potential dog and dog breed, and make sure you've thought about how much time, money, and energy your new pet will need to be happy and healthy. And, make sure you are able to follow-through on these requirements.
It can often be traumatic for dogs who end up going to shelters, and many potentially great pets end up with lifelong behavioral problems. So, try to make as informed a decision as possible, to reduce the likelihood that you end up with a pet that you don't want, or aren't able to adequately care for.