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.

Benny DiFranco

Benny DiFranco

Hi! Thanks for reading this blog. I am the owner and founder of Columbus, Ohio's very own Hands N Paws. I started this business in 2018 with the purpose of giving more pet parents peace of mind. Looking forward to seeing you on the blog next time!

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Please review this agreement carefully. Your electronic signature on this indicates that you have read, reviewed, and agreed to the following Company policies.
Your signature also indicates that you grant Hands N Paws the permission to add your email address to our mailing list. This is not a binding agreement, however; if you wish, you can click “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of any of our emails to opt out of receiving them altogether. To re-subscribe at any point, please visit our website at and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. Enter your email address in the mailing list field and submit.
The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), and “Team Member” refers to the person from our team completing services with your pets. 



In case any of the Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Hands N Paws will prioritize treating the pets and try to contact the Client or emergency contacts. However, the on-site Team Member can take appropriate actions, including getting veterinary care, if needed. The Client gives permission for Hands N Paws to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic or request on-site treatment, and make treatment decisions except for euthanasia if they cannot be reached, or if it’s a life-threatening emergency. The Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred, and releases Hands N Paws from liability for any damage or harm to pets or property beyond the Team Member’s control. The Client is also liable for any injuries or damages caused by their pet’s undisclosed aggression to the Hands N Paws team.



To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at You should also check with your veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots your pet requires. For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar with their name and a contact number while our team is working with them.



To ensure access to Clients’ homes during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Clients purchase a lockbox and place spare house key(s) inside it for Team Members to use. Clients can purchase the lockbox on the Hands N Paws website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the client’s account on Precise Petcare. Alternatively, Clients may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Clients are strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox to ensure that Team Members can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where power goes out, batteries die, or keys are lost.


It is strongly discouraged that Team Members and Clients exchange phone numbers with each other in working together. Phone numbers are personal and Team Members have specific work hours.
Clients should direct all communications with Team Members in our app, Precise Petcare. Both parties can communicate via submitted journal reports, which Team Members send after completion of all services with pets. More information on this can be found by visiting our client support page at
For any pressing/non-emergency communications, Clients are advised to call our office number at (614) 636-6644. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sunday, and Federal Holidays.
PLEASE NOTE: Office hours differ from fieldwork hours. Office hours are the times in which we provide client support via answering phones, emails, etc. Fieldwork hours are the times in which we offer services/are working in the field with pets. Our fieldwork hours are 7am-10pm (and overnights), 365 days a year.



Clients are NOT allowed to request that Team Members “ignore the cat” when providing care for other animals in households that have multiple pets. Regardless of the cat’s disposition, personality, or levels of need, Hands N Paws Team Members must provide some kind of attention and care to the cat during scheduled services. Similarly, Client must create a pet profile for the cat(s) and provide care notes accordingly.


Our Team Members can only perform services correctly if they are equipped with the correct (and most up to date) pet care information. You will only be allowed to request services on the basis that pet and personal profiles are updated every 6 months (at minimum). Any Client who attempts to request services at the 6 month mark will receive an error message letting them know that they cannot submit a request if they haven’t made updates to their profiles. If there is nothing to update at the 6 month mark, simply reword a current piece of information and click Save at the bottom of the page.


Client acknowledges that arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. It is NOT possible for Team Members to arrive at exact times. This is why time frames appear, rather than exact times, in the dropdown menu when selecting a time for the service(s).
Client agrees to requesting services in the two-hour time frames offered.



For detailed descriptions on our services, please visit our website at

Dog Walking
*Rates below apply for up to 2 dogs; add $7 per additional dog
QUICK WALK – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD WALK – 30 mins – $25
LONG WALK – 45 mins – $35

Pet Sitting
*Rates below apply for up to 2 pets; add $7 per additional pet
QUICK VISIT – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD VISIT – 30 mins – $25
LONG VISIT – 45 mins – $35

Cat Sitting
*Rates below apply for up to 2 cats; add $7 per additional cat
QUICK VISIT – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD VISIT – 30 mins – $25
LONG VISIT – 45 mins – $35
Overnight Stay (8-10 hrs) – $80

*Rate applies for up to 2 pets; add $10 per additional pet.




A $20 surcharge is added to each service that is scheduled on the following Federal Holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.



Upon submitting service request(s), Client will be informed as to whether Hands N Paws can take on the requested work via a confirmation or declination email/notification. Client understands that there is NO guarantee that any/all service requests can be approved; it simply just depends on Team Member availability. Clients are encouraged to submit all service requests as far in advance as possible!



Client understands and accepts the Company same day service request policy as outlined below:
– A $10 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 24 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.
– A $20 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 12 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.
– A $30 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 6 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.



Client understands and accepts the Company out-of-service-area request policy as outlined below:
– A $10 (minimum) convenience fee is added to each service if requested outside of our current service area.
Please note, this amount is subject to increase depending on how far a client lives outside of our current service area.




All meet n greets are FREE (and required as part of proper client onboarding) for first-time Clients. To the extent that Clients wish to schedule additional meet n greets, after their first free one, they will be charged $50 per meet n greet.

To schedule a first-time meet n greet (for new clients), please go to and click Get Started.

To schedule additional meet n greets (for current clients), please log in to your client account, go to My Schedule > Request Service and select Meet N Greet in the service dropdown.



All services are to be paid for via credit/debit card. We accept all major cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover). Card information can be added securely to each client account.

For services scheduled as ongoing, you will be auto-charged every Friday evening for the previous 7 days worth of work on schedule, including completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

For services NOT scheduled as ongoing, the day your services are accepted and confirmed is the day you will be charged 50% of your invoice total (as downpayment). Your invoice will be sent to you immediately. You have from then until the date of the last confirmed service to pay your invoice manually. If you choose to not pay manually, your remaining total will be auto-paid (via card on file) on the evening of the last service day.

If any auto-charges are declined, you will be notified immediately. In the first declined attempt, we give you a 24-hour grace period to correct the issue. In the second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total ($10 minimum) will be added. Please look out for emails regarding overdue notices.

Credit cards are required to be added to and remain on file in order for Clients to request any services with Hands N Paws.

Hands N Paws will be paid the amount discussed with no exceptions other than if our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and Client receives a refund in either the form of Account Credit(s), or in emergency circumstances as transferable credit(s) back to their card.

Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or sees the need to, purchase items for the pet while under Company care, including but not limited to: pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet and/or emergency expenses for general care of pet(s). Hands N Paws will retain and share 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 you be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to your account and applied to your 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. We assess home conditions during initial meet n greets. If we determine home conditions to be unsanitary and/or unsafe, we will make it clear to the Client that we cannot pursue a working relationship.

Should a Team Member sustain any injury, disease, or other harm in the course of providing services hereunder, the Client will indemnify Hands N Paws and hold it harmless with respect to all loss, expense, and damage caused thereby, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home and agrees to not contract with any other company and/or care provider during the duration of services booked with Hands N Paws. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by anyone entering the Client’s home with their permission or access given to others during the terms of services rendered.




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. We appreciate as much advance notice as possible for the work, but will make every effort possible to accommodate all requests.

Either party may terminate this contract at any time by written notice to the other. Hands N Paws is entitled to payment for all services rendered until notice of termination is received and for any transition services reasonably required to provide for the health and welfare of Client’s pet(s). 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 a Team Member or pet. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pet(s), 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. Every attempt will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

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 such scheduling and approval, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations




I, Client, have reviewed this Client Agreement in its entirety. I will promptly complete all parts of my client account in Precise Petcare, and the information I provide will be detailed and accurate. My electronic signature here will indicate that I am agreeing to all the terms and conditions of this contract, exactly as they are outlined above.