Guest Blog Post

Do You Have Room in Your Life for a Dog?

by: Jessica Brody

 Jessica Brody created OurBestFriends.pet so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions.   

If you’ve never owned a pet before, you should know that having a companion at your side is one of the greatest joys in life. It’s not, however, always easy or inexpensive. There are many things you must consider before adding a pooch to your family. Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, the following information can help you determine if you’re ready for Rover.

Image by Pixabay

Dogs Aren’t Cheap

According to CNBC, lifetime ownership costs for dog owners can exceed $42,000. This doesn’t include medical emergencies, which can easily add $10,000 or more to that amount. In addition to medical care, you are also responsible for your pet’s food, toys, bedding, grooming, and safety. Car harnesses, leashes, collars, and microchips all cost money.

Dogs Are a Lot of Work

No one plans to get a dog and then ignore it. So, be ready to devote a significant amount of time, especially in the first few weeks and months, to your canine. Chewy.com explains that daily walks, training, and vet visits are just part of your responsibilities. If you have dog allergies, you’ll also need to spend more time cleaning your home and grooming your pet than the average dog owner. Invest in a high-quality vacuum cleaner built specifically for pet hair and dander; research models online to find one that fits your needs. There are many adjustable models available that can go from carpet to hardwood. You’ll also want to have a supply of waste bags and odor-neutralizing cleaners handy since accidents are bound to happen.

Dogs Need Exercise

You know you’re going to have to walk your dog, but dogs require more physical activity than just the time it takes to relieve themselves. Healing Springs Animal Hospital explains that a quick stroll isn’t enough of a workout and that your dog should receive at least 30 minutes of exercise six to seven days a week. The good news is that you can provide your dog opportunities for regular exercise even if you work long hours or live in an apartment. If you live in NYC, the Barking Meter is a caring and compassionate dog walking and boarding service that can ensure Spot gets all the time, attention, and exercise he needs to be healthy and happy.

There Is an Adjustment Period

You may have been excited about your new pet for weeks or even months, but the transition into your home will come suddenly for your dog. Help them acclimate by giving them time to explore and providing boundaries and guidance from day one. Dogtime.com suggests getting the entire family on board and making sure everyone knows the rules. For example, if the dog is not allowed on the couch, everyone should enforce this restriction.

Start your training early since you need to establish yourself as the leader of the pack. Begin with the basics, such as sit, stay, and heel, but don’t overlook behavioral commands to eliminate friction with your neighbors. Teaching your dog how to be quiet is essential when you live in a multi-housing unit as excessive barking is almost certainly a violation of your building’s code of conduct. Remember, however, to be patient. Your new best friend may be fearful at first and will need loving guidance as he learns to bond with you and your family.

Before bringing a new pet into your life, gather all the gear you’ll need to ensure his safety. You’ll also need to establish a relationship with a trustworthy veterinarian. Once you narrow down your selection, visit the facility and ask plenty of questions. Most of all, trust your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable at the office, your dog won’t either.

Perhaps most importantly, consider adoption. There are nearly four million dogs in shelters and in foster care across the country. By adopting, you will have already taken one step toward responsible pet ownership and will have saved a life in the process. By taking this information into consideration, you’ll soon learn if you have room in your life to adopt and care for a dog.