The idea of getting a dog can be extremely appealing. After all, a dog is something that will be there for you no matter what, and they will keep you safe. They will make you take exercise, and can become a valued part of the family. At first glance, getting a dog always seems like a wonderful idea, and it often is, but there are some important things to take into account before you actually invest in a dog, whether you are buying a purebred animal or rescuing one from a shelter. Read on to find out more.
Dogs are for Life
Dogs can live a very long time, and the average lifespan of a dog is about 13 years. This means you are going to have your dog for a good number of years, and you need to ensure you can commit to this. It’s not fair on your pet if you are only going to love them for a short while and then hand them over to someone else, or give them to a shelter.
You need to know that you are going to be able to take care of a puppy, enjoy the most energetic times, and then take care of a dog as they settle into old age and eventually pass away. If you aren’t sure you want such a large commitment, getting a dog probably isn’t a good idea.
Check the Breed
Dogs come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and there are hundreds of different breeds. Whether you have a specific breed in mind or you are thinking you will just pick the dog you like at the shelter, you need to put in some research.
You may need to check the definition of breed specific dog food, for example, to ensure the dog you have chosen is going to get all the right nutrients in their diet and not become sick. You should also check out exercise needs, as well as grooming requirements, and of course you should look into the size of the dog too – will a larger dog (even if it is currently a tiny puppy) fit into your home with ease, or would a smaller dog be a better option? Some dogs are better with children or other animals, and this is also a consideration. In other words, make sure you do your research before choosing the dog you want to have in your home.
The truth is, dogs do not come cheap. Some are less expensive than others, but they are all going to cost some money over time. This doesn’t necessarily mean the cost you pay to actually buy the dog (although this is something to think about; some dogs cost many thousands whereas others are much cheaper or even free); there are other costs to think about. These include food, vet’s bills, medication, vacation boarding, training, toys, and more.
On average, a dog costs about $40,000 over its lifetime. Can you commit to this cost? If not, there are far cheaper pets to consider if you still want something to take care of and be a companion.