Top 3 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

A dog holding someone's hand

There are millions of cute pet videos circulating the Internet today. If you find yourself spending hours scrolling through TikTok looking at some of the cutest and funniest dog content, you’re not alone. In fact, if these videos have ever encouraged you to 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 important to approach this decision with responsibility and careful consideration. Before taking the plunge, take a moment to think about the top 4 things to consider before getting a dog.

1. Do you have adequate time and money to invest?

Getting a dog requires a significant investment of time and money.

With time, dogs need consistent attention, exercise, training, and socialization to stay healthy and happy. They need to be taken for regular walks and given ample opportunities to play and exercise. They also should attend regular training sessions (ideally starting at a young age) to learn good behavior. Grooming is also a vital part of dog ownership, and it requires time to keep your dog’s coat healthy and well-maintained.

Should you not always have the time, then you should have the finances available to compensate. Similarly, walking, training, and grooming can be outsourced to another person or company. If you know that you don’t have the time to walk your dog on certain days each week, for example, you should have the financial ability to hire a dog walker in Columbus, Ohio to take on the task for you.

In addition to these daily activities, dogs need regular socialization with humans and other dogs. Socialization classes or opportunities to interact with other dogs safely and comfortably require time, money, and effort on your part.

Overall, it’s important to remember that getting a dog is a long-term time and money commitment. Dogs can live up to 15 years or more, and during that time, they will rely on you for their daily care and attention. Failing to provide your dog with enough time and attention can result in behavior problems, anxiety, and even health issues.

Common Dog-Ownership Monetary Expenses:

  1. Food and treats: Dogs need to eat every day, and the cost of food can vary depending on the type and quality of the food you choose. Treats are also important for training and rewarding good behavior.
  2. Veterinary care: Dogs require regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care like flea and tick medication. Unexpected illnesses or injuries can also add to veterinary costs.
  3. Grooming: Depending on the breed, dogs may require regular grooming to maintain their coat and prevent matting. This can include brushing, bathing, and haircuts.
  4. Training and socialization: Training classes can help teach your dog good behavior and socialization skills. This can be especially important for puppies.
  5. Supplies: Dogs need a variety of supplies, including a collar and leash, ID tags, food and water bowls, a crate or bed, toys, and cleaning supplies.
  6. Boarding or pet sitting services: If you go out of town or need to be away from home for an extended period, you may need to pay for boarding or pet sitting services.
  7. Insurance: Pet insurance can help cover unexpected veterinary costs and is worth considering if you’re worried about the potential cost of medical care for your dog.

2. What’s your living situation like?

The size, activity level, and temperament of the dog you choose should be appropriate for your living space and lifestyle. For example, a large, high-energy breed like a Great Dane would not do well in a small apartment with limited space to move around. On the other hand, a small dog like a Chihuahua or a Pomeranian may thrive in a small space (as long as they get enough exercise and playtime, too).

It’s also important to consider other animals or humans in your living space. If you have other pets, such as cats or birds, you’ll want to choose a dog breed that is known for getting along well with such animals. Similarly, if you have small children, you’ll want to choose a breed that is known for being gentle and patient around kids.

Some breeds that tend to do well in smaller living spaces include the Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Pug. These dogs are generally low-energy and don’t require a lot of exercise, but still enjoy playtime and attention from humans.

If you have a larger living space and enjoy outdoor activities, you may consider breeds like the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, or German Shepherd. These dogs tend to be more active and require plenty of exercise, but they also make great companions for outdoor adventures.

Don’t forget to also think about yard space as well. Some dogs may require a large yard to run and play around in, while others may be content with a small patio or balcony. It’s also important to make sure your yard is secure and safe for your dog to play in. Consider installing a fence or making sure any potential hazards, such as toxic plants or sharp objects, are removed.

3. Do you have the mental and emotional bandwidth?

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.” —Viktor Frankl

Ask yourself… If a dog chews on your furniture or rips a hole in one of your shoes, are you immediately going to get flustered and shout at them? Or, are you going to take a breath and approach things with ease and leadership?

Patience is a vital characteristic to have when raising any social animal. Likewise, when your new pup does something they shouldn’t, you must have the bandwidth to consistently correct the behavior and give positive reinforcement to follow.

Positive Vs. Negative Reinforcement

The way you treat your dog in its early stages of life will impact and shape its behavior later on. Additionally, it’s important to have a good system in place for giving your dog feedback and positive reinforcement as they learn desired behaviors.

If you’re bringing home a fresh puppy, without any formal training, they’re likely to exhibit problematic behaviors such as barking excessively or being destructive. When this happens, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, you must keep in mind that you have the power to create space between a trigger and how you respond to that trigger.

Lashing out and yelling is a form of negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement or punishment involves punishing bad behavior by using physical or verbal reprimands, such as hitting or scolding the dog. This can create fear and anxiety in the dog, leading to negative behavioral and emotional issues, such as aggression and anxiety.

When you choose to calmly approach the situation, however, and focusing on the corrective action/behavior, you prevent causing undue stress to your dog. Giving positive reinforcement to dogs is better than negative reinforcement or punishment because it creates a more positive and trusting relationship between the owner and the dog. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding good behavior with something the dog likes, such as treats, praise, or affection. This encourages the dog to repeat the good behavior and strengthens the bond between the owner and the dog.

Are you ready to welcome home your new fur baby?

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Now that you’ve really taken it into consideration, are you ready to welcome home a new fur baby? If so, we recommend checking out local dog rescues in Columbus, Ohio prior to heading to a breeder. By choosing to adopt, you’d be giving a dog a second chance at a better life! Check out the following facilities:

  1. Columbus Humane Society: A non-profit organization that offers a wide range of adoption services, including dogs, cats, and small animals.
  2. Franklin County Dog Shelter & Adoption Center: A government-run facility that takes in stray and surrendered dogs in the Franklin County area, and offers adoption services.
  3. Cause for Canines: A volunteer-run organization that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters, fosters them in loving homes, and helps them find permanent homes.
  4. Pets Without Parents: A non-profit, no-kill animal shelter for dogs and cats, striving to place every pet that enters our shelter into a loving, permanent home.
  5. RESCUEDOhio: A non-profit organization that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in Ohio, fosters them, and helps them find loving homes.
  6. CHA Animal Shelter: A non-profit shelter serving animals and people in Central Ohio.
  7. Buckeye Bulldog Rescue: A non-profit organization that focuses on rescuing and rehoming bulldogs in Ohio.
  8. Columbus Dog Connection: A non-profit organization impacting the lives of dogs and cats through rescue, foster, and adoption.
  9. Colony Cats and Dogs: A non-profit organization that rescues and finds homes for cats and dogs in the Central Ohio area.
  10. Speak! For the Unspoken: A non-profit organization that rescues dogs with special needs and helps them find loving homes.

Once you’ve secured your new fur baby, it’s important to help them ease into the transition of living in a new environment (their forever home).

And, if you’ve decided that now’s not the time for you to get a dog, then kudos to you! Remember that getting a dog is a long-term commitment, and it’s crucial to provide them with the daily time, care, love and attention they need to live happy and healthy lives.

Only when you’re ready to take total responsibility should you decide to get a dog. If and when that time comes, you’ll realize that welcoming a new fur baby into your home will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.



Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog. I'm the proud owner of Columbus's own Hands N Paws, started in 2018 to bring joy to pet parents. See you in the next post!

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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


Arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. Team Members are unable to guarantee exact arrival times due to various factors that may affect scheduling and travel times. To accommodate these considerations, we use time blocks rather than specific times. Client will see this in the dropdown menu when Client selects Arrival Time in the request service form within their Client account.

While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

Ongoing Services: For services scheduled as ongoing, Client will be automatically charged every Friday for the previous 7 days’ worth of completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

Non-Ongoing Services: For services not scheduled as ongoing, a 50% down-payment will be charged on the day the services are accepted and confirmed. An invoice will be sent immediately. Client has until the date of the last confirmed service to manually pay the remaining balance on the invoice. If manual payment is not made, the remaining total will be automatically charged to the card on file on the date of the last service day on that invoice.

Declined Payments: In the event of a declined auto-charge, Client will be promptly notified. After the first declined charge, Client has a 24-hour grace period to rectify the issue. In the case of a second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total (minimum $10) will be added. Client must be attentive to emails regarding overdue notices.

Payment Terms: Hands N Paws will be paid the agreed-upon amount as discussed, with no exceptions, unless our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and the Client receives a refund in the form of an Account Credit(s). In emergency circumstances, a refund may be issued as transferable credit(s) back to the Client’s card.

Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. If it is determined that home conditions are unsanitary and/or unsafe at any point in the working relationship, Company will make it known to Client. Action will be taken accordingly thereafter.

Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home during the duration of services booked. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by any third-parties entering Client’s home at that time.


This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon service confirmation, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations.