German shorthaired pointer with a giant bone in his mouth

Are you considering bringing a dog into your home? Before you do, here are 7 questions you should ask yourself before embarking on this exciting adventure. After answering these questions, you will have a better idea of what to expect as a new dog owner.

  1. Where will your dog sleep?
    Some thought needs to be put into where your dog will sleep. Will it be a dog that spends most of its time outside? If so, consider getting a dog house. If it will spend most of its time indoors, getting a dog pillow or bed would be the best route to go. Then there are those lucky dogs that get to snuggle with their owners in the big bed. If this is your plan, put a lot of research into housebreaking and setting boundaries – like teaching your dog to only get on the bed when you invite him. After all, you don’t want him taking over your entire house… or peeing on your pillow.
  2. When you’re away, where will your dog stay?
    Have you thought about where your dog will stay when you’re at work or running errands? Will someone be home to take care of them? If not, will they be indoors or outdoors? Will you keep them in a crate or will you let them roam around, if they stay indoors?
  3. Is a dog in your budget?
    Dogs are cute and fun to have around but, are you prepared for the extra expenses of a dog? Dogs need collars, food, toys, flea medication, shampoo, and vet visits — just to name a few. Have you considered these costs?
  4. Do you have the space?
    Ok, when they’re puppies they’re relatively small, but depending on the breed that you get they can quickly outgrow a small apartment. Considering the size of dog that you want is an important component in choosing a dog.
  5. Have you researched the different dog breeds?
    With different breeds comes different temperaments, as well as sizes and activity levels. These are basic issues that should be given consideration. Not to mention they become even more important when kids are involved. Some dogs can become jealous when new kids are brought into a home.
  6. Are you prepared to walk them everyday?
    Just like people, dogs need their exercise too. This becomes even more important with dogs that are naturally more active, or hyper. They need an outlet for all of that energy. If you don’t plan on, or are unable to walk them, is there someone else that will?
  7. Will you groom your dog?
    Another aspect of choosing a dog is grooming. Dogs don’t need baths everyday, but they do need them at least once a week. Long hair breeds need to be brushed and combed at least once a day to keep their hair from matting, or to cut down on shedding. Some breeds have a specific haircut that’s unique to their breed… such as schnauzers. Are you prepared to either groom them yourself or add the extra expense of taking them to a dog groomer?

Choosing a dog can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially if you know what to expect before bringing a dog into your home. Taking the time to think about potential issues before you choose a dog is the key factor in determining what dog will best fit your lifestyle, and lead to years of enjoyment.

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