7 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

Have you been noticing the infinite number of videos and pics of dogs circulating the internet? If you ever find yourself scrolling through Facebook and Twitter for hours on end looking at some of the cutest and funniest dog content, you’re not alone! If seeing these videos or pics has ever encouraged you to actually get a dog of your own, you’re also not alone!

While we fully support the idea of welcoming home a new furry friend, it’s essential to be reasonable and responsible about your big decision. So before taking the plunge, try considering the following things first.

What Is Your Motivation For Getting A Dog?

To be frank, getting a dog is a big commitment. It will take energy, money, and sacrifices to give a dog the loving, happy, and abundant life he/she deserves. Dogs are definitely adorable; but all too often, people will see cute dog photos (which, who doesn’t love seeing?!) and think to themselves, “awww, I want one!” 

Unfortunately, some don’t first consider all of the work that’s involved in owning a dog. Then, once they do get one, they find out that the “cuteness” comes at a unique cost. 

When this happens, not only is it stressful for you (the owner), but it’s also not fair to the dog. Before welcoming a dog into your home, you need to be on-board mentally, physically, and financially for all the love and care that dogs need in order to truly thrive. 

If you like to travel or can barely make ends meet as is, getting a dog might not be the wisest thing to do right now.

Consider Fostering One First!

If you have never had a dog before or are unsure whether you want to take the plunge on the emotional and/or financial commitment, we highly recommend fostering one first.  Fostering will allow you to get an idea of what it’s like to “own a dog” without necessarily actually owning one. It’s just a temporary commitment, and a great way for you to experience what owning a dog might be like. But fostering for too long may only cause the dog to naturally become attached to you (and vice-versa); so if you’re going to foster, be sure to stay on-the-ball about what you decide/where your heart’s at!

If you come to genuinely believe that you can commit to providing a loving and nurturing FURever home, then it’s safe to say you should consider getting yourself a dog! 

Necessary Things To Have In Place

Dogs require specialized products and services to maintain optimal health and good appearance. You should definitely have a designated vet in place, as well as a grooming service, before (or as soon as) you take your new fur baby under your wing.

You will also need to train your dog! A lot of people forget how important it is that their new dog receives training, whether or not it’s from a professional. 

Think of it this way: training is a way to create and set boundaries. 

Boundaries in human-to-pet relationships are just as important as boundaries in human-to-human relationships. By establishing boundaries from the beginning of you and your new dog’s relationship, it sets both of you up for success in the long run. 

Training is also a way to provide your new dog with stimulation and excitement. You’ll then find it easy to take care of the dog once you get them to listen to some basic commands.

Another service to consider having lined-up is a dog walker. There will certainly be days when you won’t be able to walk your dog. You might be on vacation or stuck at the office late. That’s when you’ll need to look at hiring a dog walker or pet sitter (of course, we’d recommend Hands N Paws for this!) so that you can feel at ease knowing your dog is in good hands while you’re away from home.

Pet Essentials

When you bring a dog home from the shelter, you’re going to need a few essentials. At a minimum, you should have food, treats, a water bowl, and a dog bed. You should also have shampoo and a toothbrush for your furry friend. Dog tags are necessary in case your dog, unfortunately, gets lost (you can also get smart dog tags, which will let you find your dog by using an app on your phone). 

You’ll want to make sure to present a fun, interactive home environment, so the dog can relax and begin to enjoy their new surroundings. Toys are a great way to develop a bond with your pet. Kong Toys are great for training purposes and fixing any and all behavioral problems!

Where Can You Take Your Dog Outside?

Dogs need consistent walking and activity outdoors. They need to have fun! So to prepare, you’ll need a place in mind, preferably a dog park, for them to do that. Fortunately, in the Columbus region, there are quite a few dog parks to which you’ll be able to take your furry friend. Pick out the ones that are closest to you, and keep them in mind!

Dog-Proof Your Home

When people think of “proofing” their home, they think of baby-proofing it! Dogs are curious pets, though, and they will try and find their way into everything. Therefore, before bringing your new pet home, walk through it and make sure there isn’t anything dangerous your pet can get in to (exposed electrical wires, for example). 

If you’re list-oriented and want to make sure you don’t forget to dog-proof something, there are lists online that you can follow to ensure your new furry companion stays safe and out of trouble in your home.

If You Get A Dog, Consider Adopting One

Once you’ve committed to providing a loving, nurturing home for your dog, and you’ve got your home all ready for your new furry friend, the final step is to actually go get the dog!  

Now it’s probably a matter of whether you should adopt or shop a breeder. Without any hesitation, adopting is the way to go! By doing so, you’re giving a dog a second chance at a great life. Dogs that end up at adoption shelters may have been abandoned, injured, and/or they may have never had anyone to love them properly. Adopting makes a difference in a dog’s life as well as within the greater community in which you’re deciding to adopt.

There are many places where you can adopt a pet. The Life Boat in Columbus, Ohio is one in particular that stands out for their great attention to animal-to-human relationships and devotion to making sure furry ones are completely comfortable with humans before any decisions are made. They actively work to provide tests and assessments to make sure that the right human gets matched with the right pup. We recently co-sponsored a Facebook post with them and got amazing feedback!

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Get Ready For Your New Dog Child! 

The next time you catch yourself mindlessly scrolling through TikTok watching pet videos, remember that what’s cute and enticing on the screen is a whole different ballgame in your home and as a responsibility. Please consider all of the above before taking the plunge and bringing a fur baby into your home. It’s a FURever commitment that you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re prepared for!

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