Do you dream of bringing home a furry friend-turned-companion but resist the urge to dive into dog ownership out of fear you’re not ready? If so, keep reading for seven signs you’re prepared for pet parenthood. If you identify with any of the following, it may be time to make your doggy dream a reality.
You find yourself researching shelters and breeders
If you find yourself researching lab puppies for sale or religiously scouring your local shelter’s website for new additions, it may be time to bring a four-legged bundle of joy into your home. Spending time and energy browsing different breeds often indicates you’re willing to put in the work for proper training and preparation.
You have the money
One of the most common roadblocks for animal lovers looking to purchase a pup is scaling prices. Unfortunately, dog ownership isn’t cheap, regardless of if you opt for an inexpensive adoption or a high-quality breeder. The following are just a few of the many expenses required to care for a puppy:
- Dog food and bowls
- Collars and Leashes
- Dog beds and crates
- Treats, Toys, and bones
- Training (if applicable)
You have the time
Before you jump the gun and bring home a pup you have inadequate time for, make sure you understand what you’re getting into by taking inventory of your lifestyle and dog breed.
You need to have the hours in your schedule to give your dog attention, walks, and playtime, all of which may vary depending on breed and individual pup.
You have the space
While you don’t need to have a manor house with sweeping fields to own a dog, you should have ample space for your dog to exist and thrive. How much surface area depends on the breed, but your dog should be able to move freely and stay comfortable most of the day.
For instance, some breeds of dogs are particularly suited to apartment living, such as Chihuahuas, while others, like Huskies, need open areas to run and release high energy levels.
You can commit to training
Though training needs will vary depending on each individual pup, any dog—regardless of breed—will require round-the-clock care and consistent instruction. In addition to basic commands, you should be ready and willing to devote hours of work to iron out harmful habits, like food guarding, excessive barking, separation anxiety, and aggression.
You have a support system
Though you will likely be your dog’s favorite person to exist, you should encourage your pup to bond with your support system to eliminate intense separation anxiety and build trust. Be sure you have someone who will care for your dog if you are traveling or incapacitated, if your financial situation should take a drastic turn, or if you should pass away.
If you live with family or roommates, everyone should give the okay to bring in a dog. Have established expectations for pet care and rules about what the dog is and is not permitted to do.
You’re ready for a lifetime of learning
When it comes to dog ownership, continuous learning is key to building strong, loyal companionships. Just like every other aspect of canines, a dog’s lifespan ranges by breed, so prepare yourself for a decade (or two) of dedication and unconditional love.
If your lifestyle is compatible with a new pup, it may be time to head out to your local adoption center and bring home the dog of your dreams. There is no better time than the present to search for your new companion and begin your life together.