Should I get a dog? What to consider when purchasing a pooch

Are you thinking about getting a dog? The desire that a prospective dog owner may have for a pooch can be rather strong, but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. Here's what you should think about when considering if you should get a dog.

Should you get a dog?
Should you get a dog?  © Ken Reid / Unsplash

If you're thinking about expanding upon your family, you generally only have three options: a cat, a dog, or a human baby.

If you're leaning more towards pup, there are things that you need to consider before diving in.

In this dog guide, TAG24 will take you through the pros and cons of dog adoption. Should you get a dog? If so, where, and how, and when?

Can dogs see color?
Dog Guide Can dogs see color?

Read on to find out if getting a dog is the right move for you.

The should I get a dog quiz: What to consider

There are a vast assortment of things to consider when you get a dog, and wrong choice can have rather awful consequences for you and your pet. Here are a bunch of things to think about before adopting a four-legged friends.

How to get a dog: Shelters and shops

One of the first things to think about when getting a dog is to decide whether you want it to come from a shelter or from a pet shop. It can be a tricky one, because you want to do a good thing, but you may also be taking a risk if you go with a shelter pooch.

When it comes to this fundamental question, there are two possible ways of looking at it:

  • Get your dog from a shelter: Adopt from a shelter dog to help out a pooch in need. The problem, though, is that many shelter dogs can be unpredictable or even traumatized, so it may not be the best to do so with small children in the house.

  • Get your dog from a pet shop: You have more of a guarantee to get a safe and well-behaved dog (unless it is a puppy, then all bets are off!). Dogs from pet shops tend to be far better for families, but the pet sales industry can be rather disturbing when you look into inhumane breeding practices.

In the end, though, when choose where to get a dog, the most important thing to consider is how you feel about the situation. Make a decision from the heart.

Pros and cons of getting a dog

Make sure that your job doesn't force you to be separate from your dog for too long, especially when your dog is new to your space.
Make sure that your job doesn't force you to be separate from your dog for too long, especially when your dog is new to your space.  © 123RF / Adogslifephoto, 123RF / Diego_cervo

One of the things you should dive into before picking up a puppy is a pros and cons list of reasons whether you should or shouldn't get a dog. Once you have established whether the pros outweigh the cons, then you can begin to form an opinion.

Why you should get a dog

Dogs are wonderful animals, and offer all kinds of benefits to their owners and families. Their love, excitement, enthusiasm, and kindness are unparalleled, and they can make a wonderful companion or aid as a therapy dog. For many people, a dog is an obvious positive decision.

Baby wants dog bestie to protect her from vacuum in adorable clip!
Dogs Baby wants dog bestie to protect her from vacuum in adorable clip!

Why should you get a dog? Let's take a look:

  • Walking is actually not a problem. Yes, it is true that walking your dog can be a time-consuming exercise, but it is also a very enjoyable and healthy exercise that will improve your fitness and develop a loving and close relationship with your dog.
  • A dog can provide relief from work. Do you work a 9-to-5? A dog could offer a fantastic opportunity and obligation to go for a nice walk in the middle of the day. This can improve your mood and give you a break from the monotony of a long workday.
  • Get some love in your life. If you live alone, or just want to add something that is endlessly positive to your life, a dog is the way to go. They will keep you stay busy, loved, and happy.
  • They are good vacation companions. If you take your dog on vacation with you, you could be in for a treat. Whether you go to the beach or go on a hike, you can continue bonding with your wonderful pooch.
  • Responsibility is healing. Having a great deal of responsibility can be a burden, but it can also serve as a wonderful healing agent for people suffering from mental health issues. Being a pet owner gives you a purpose, a responsibility, and something to keep you busy and motivated even when you don't feel like it!

This doesn't mean that there aren't drawbacks to dog ownership, though. As they say, be careful what you wish for.

Why you shouldn't get a dog

There are many reasons why you shouldn't get a dog, especially if your life fits certain criteria. Dogs are incredibly time, energy, and resource consuming, and while they will improve your life, they will also make it far more stressful and difficult at times.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn't get a dog:

  • Do you have enough time to look after a dog? No? Then it is going to be a big problem if you have one. If you still do want a pup, though, a work-friendly breed would be best, to avoid any severe separation anxiety.
  • You will need to walk the dog. At least twice a day, your pooch will need to be walked. While this comes with health benefits, it comes with some more practical drawbacks.
  • You may need a dog-friendly workplace. It is vital that you don't leave your dog alone eight hours a day when you are at work. As a result, your boss needs to agree to it, and your dog needs to be relatively docile and safe to take to work.
  • It can be difficult to plan with a dog. Generally, going on trips and trying to make future plans, such as big moves and adventures, can be much harder when you have a dog. Plane travel is tough, and dogs are often not allowed in hotels.
  • It's a lot of responsibility. You need time, money, and resources to raise your doggo well. That also means that you need to be willing to make sacrifices and accept when things are just simply not possible because of your doggo. It's a big decision, so don't take it lightly.

So, should you get a dog? Let's go ahead and dive even deeper.

How much does it cost to have a dog?

Vet bills can rack up, and be rather expensive!
Vet bills can rack up, and be rather expensive!  © 123RF / highwaystarz

One of the most important things to think about when considering if you should have a dog is the cost associated with it, especially financially.

The cost of a dog is not just about how much you paid for it up front, but also continuing food costs, medical fees, training, care items, and a lot more.

As a result, there is no way to objectively say how much a dog costs, because it varies a lot. What is clear, though, is that you need to have enough money for medical care, food, shampoo, medicine, and equipment – all of which can add up to a lot.

Sadly, if you cannot afford to take care of your dog without breaking the bank, then you need to seriously consider whether a dog is for you right now. It could be a more savvy burden to undertake down the line, or when you're financially stable.

Hot tip: To avoid paying four or five figure sums at your next vet visit, make sure to look into vet fees and pet health insurance policies before picking up a pooch!

How to prepare your house for a puppy

Make sure that your dogs gets enough exercise, and has enough room to move around in your home.
Make sure that your dogs gets enough exercise, and has enough room to move around in your home.  © 123RF / followtheflow

The last thing you need to consider before getting a doggo is whether your home is appropriate, and whether there are things you can do to dog-proof it. Most of these decisions need to be made with the size and type of breed of the dog you have in mind as well.

Consider the size of your apartment or home, the things you have lying around that could be dangerous for a pet, whether you have the right furniture, and whether your neighborhood is suitable for walking your new dog.

You also need to find out if your building allows dogs, or think about whether you have an enclosed yard for your puppy to have space to play.

Dogs that are more active will not be happy in a small studio apartment in the middle of a city. Smaller dogs, on the other hand, may be okay. As with everything, the answers to these decisions is a question of your personal circumstances and preferences.

Getting the perfect pooch is crucial

Getting the perfect pooch for you is an absolutely critical step in the dog adoption process. It's both a matter of getting the right breed, and you being the right owner. On top of this, be prepared for the responsibility, and willing to step up and make those sacrifices. Many animal lovers feel pets are definitely worth the effort.

If you do decide to get yourself a dog, use these steps to find the perfect pooch for your family. A dog can truly enrich your life, so take care to choose the right one – it's worth the time.

Cover photo: Ken Reid / Unsplash

More on Dog Guide: