The kids have been asking for years if they can get a pet, and now your spouse is starting to make comments, too. Is your family ready for a dog? Before bringing a dog home, here are some important questions from the staff at Homestead Gardens Farm & Pet that you should ask yourself and your family members.
1. Time available – A new dog needs plenty of family interaction, especially if you bring home a puppy. If all the adults in the household work all day long and the children are busy with school, daycare and after-school activities, your household might not be the best home for a new dog. However, if a parent works at home, or if you have family members who are able to come home frequently to take the puppy for walks and give him personal attention throughout the day, your home is a great place for a new pet.
2. Expenses – Owning a pet will impact your budget. You’ll need food and potential nutritional supplements, and you’ll need equipment like chew toys, a crate, leashes and a doggy bed. You will also have to pay for medical procedures like spaying or neutering, dental work and vaccinations, and you’ll probably face expenses like grooming and boarding your dog while you’re on vacation, too. These expenses can vary depending on the size and breed of your dog, but anticipate the first year of owning your dog to cost between $500 and $1,000.
3. Family dynamics – If you have toddlers or other pets in the home, how will they react to a new furry family member? Toddlers will want to pet and play with the new puppy, but they often don’t have control over how hard they pet and play. Some dog breeds and personalities are not tolerant of this, and you’ll have to tackle separating the new pet and child. The same can apply toward other pets in the home – will they be welcoming toward the new dog?
Once you have discussed these things with your family, you’ll know if your home is ready for a dog.