Deciding whether or not your entire family is ready for a new dog is a huge decision. That dog, if you decide to get one, is going to be part of your family for many years. It’s going to change how you spend your free time in many ways, and it’s going to be a huge part of your kids’ lives.
So how do you know if you’re ready for the commitment and the responsibility?
The following are some things to keep in mind if you’re weighing whether or not your family is ready for a dog.
Do You Travel Frequently?
If you’re a parent who often travels for work, your spouse does, or your entire family is often traveling for leisure, a dog might not be a good fit in your life right now. If you work long hours, that’s probably okay because there are things like on-demand dog walking services that can come in handy.
However, if you’re often traveling it’s going to be very expensive to board your dog throughout the year. Maybe you’re okay with that, but do think about how those costs are going to add up before making a decision.
What are the Ages of Your Kids?
Your kids don’t need to be elementary school-aged or older before you get a dog but do think about how they might be with the dog, whether or not they’ll be able to help with responsibilities at all, and how much demand they put on your in terms of being their caretaker.
If you have a new baby, for example, it might not be the ideal time to get a new dog. Your full attention is on your baby, and that can take up a lot of your time. Plus, your family is probably already in a bit of a transition period.
Are You All Willing to Weather the Adjustment Period?
When you get a new dog, there is undoubtedly going to be a period of adjustment. It’s going to be a challenge to deal with things like house training, and your puppy may take some time to warm up to everyone and in particular your younger kids.
You’re going to spend time on all aspects of training for your dog, and there are going to be some hurdles with that. Are you ready for the time and the hurdles?
Why Do You Want a Dog?
Unfortunately, there are some wrong reasons for wanting to get a dog. One example is because they’re cute. Cute isn’t enough to carry you through those problems with house training and all the responsibility that comes with a dog.
Think long and hard about your true reasons for wanting a dog. For example, good reasons for wanting one include wanting your kids to have the experience of growing up with a dog. There are many benefits to this, and if that’s how you feel, you may be ready.
Finally, ensure that you know all the details. For example, what does a dog need to be happy, and how much is it going to cost to take care of a new dog every year?