5 Things You'll Wish You Knew Before Getting A Dog

 The process of bringing a puppy or any dog into your home is an exciting thing, but it is one that should never be done on a whim. There are many factors to consider. After all, it is a living sentient soul and not a "thing". Dogs have feelings and an amazing capacity for love. But they also come with great responsibility.

Here are 5 things you'll wish you knew before getting a dog.

1. Detailed Breed Information

Multiple dog breeds sanding together in a semi circle with a white backround

This point can't stressed enough. Like humans every dog definitely has an individual personality, but within breeds of dogs there are specific traits that will usually come through. For example all dogs need exercise, but if you are super active and want a hiking companion you may want to look at a breed such as bordercollies, labs, huskies or a mix thereof.  But don't expect a dog like that to be a lazy cuddle pet. There are so many things to consider as far as breed goes including predisposed traits or social types. Does the dog have hair or fur? Are they harder or easy to train? Grooming needs are another example of something to consider. While all dogs require some grooming, such as nail trimming, bathing, brushing, others may require periodical hair trimming to avoid painful matting. These are just a few of many things to think about when it comes to breed.

2. Financial Responsibility

Obviously you will have to feed your dog, and then there are the toys, treats etc. Dogs can be expensive there is no doubt, but one thing many don't consider is the potentially larger cost of health responsibility. If a dog gets sick or injured it can be a costly issue, and one to always be prepared for. Your dog deserves care just like you do, so having funds put away for emergencies or even better a pet insurance policy to help with vet bills is a wise thing to consider and prepare for when you add a dog to your family.

3. Lifestyle

 A short haired jack russell sitting on a mat that says "home"

Some of the consideration for lifestyle affecting this important decision can also point back to the breed of dog you choose. If you are someone who periodically travels, then you need to consider how the dog would deal with that. Or even your day to day going to work habits should be considered. If you are a homebody or retired, apartment living or have a house. All these factors weigh in and make a difference to why it should never be a split decision to get a dog.

4. Sociability and Training

Rottweiler puppy sitting outside

Some breeds of dog are super social by trait and others not so much. Dogs have similar emotions like us they get nervous, scared, jealous, protective. While training is very important and can help your dog get past some of these issues some dogs are predispositioned with traits and personalities to consider. Rottweilers, for example are known to be extrodinarily protective of their family (pack), as are german shepherds.

5. They Will Love You More 

close up of a blonde long haired dachshund

As we tend to fall in love with our dogs and they become part of our families the thing to remember is you are their world. No matter the breed size, shape, fur or hair, your dog will love you unconditionally. Considering their needs and care is the least we can do for them. Dogs have an incredible capacity for love and you can be sure that they will leave a mark on your life and heart that you will carry long after they are gone. Though knowing that day will always come far too soon remember it is so worth it.

Short list of things to consider:

  • Time
  • Funds
  • Breed needs
  • Long term commitment
  • Being loved unconditionally for all of their life and a tiny bit of yours

 There you have it, 5 things you'll wish you knew before getting a dog. I hope these points help you on your journey to the best relationship you never knew you needed.

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