Statistics shared by the American Pets Products Association show that approximately 44% of all households in the U.S own a dog, and 35% have at least one cat, according to ASPCA. Dogs are wonderful companions, and they can enrich your life in many ways. However, the idea of bringing a dog into the family can be overwhelming.
As adorable as they are, pets come with a lot of responsibility. So, before you can adopt one, you need to know if your family is truly ready to care for a dog. Below are several factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision.
Is Pet Care In Your Budget?
The cost of owning a dog isn’t centered around food and toys only. You must factor in other expenses like annual checkups, yearly vaccinations, licensing, and microchipping. You also need to account for spaying or neutering, flea and tick medication, and heartworm treatment. Keep in mind these expenses add up depending on the age and size of the dog.
Therefore, evaluate your finances and create a budget accounting for all dog expenses. This move will help you know if you can afford a dog. If you’re determined to have a dog, be sure to start saving early and set aside three to six month’s worth of expenses in an emergency account.
Consider Your Child’s Comfort Level Around Pets
It’s natural for kids to feel excited when they spot a puppy in the park. But that doesn’t mean they are comfortable around pets. Your children might demonstrate discomfort or anxiousness when you bring a dog home. It is advisable to pet sit for a friend or visit an animal shelter at least twice before adopting a dog. Observe how your children interact with both puppies and older dogs. If they seem more comfortable with a puppy, then consider adopting one.
Also, factor in how your children treat dogs. Do they bump roughly on animals or tug on their ears? If so, take time to teach your child how to stay safe around dogs by demonstrating respectful etiquettes. Train your kids not to tug on their ears or tail, hit or throw toys because the furry animal might respond to a child’s roughness by biting them.
Healthy Pet Diet And Nutrition
Like humans, dogs have nutrition requirements you must meet to ensure they live a healthy and happy life. Aside from proteins, water, and carbohydrates, dogs need vitamin supplements. While they are tons of supplement products available on the market, vets recommend choosing high-quality and natural supplements. Organic supplements enhance your dog’s bones and joints, boost the immune system, and revitalize their fur.
As a potential pet parent, you must take time to learn basic dog feeding guidelines from various pet sites or magazines. Then decide if you can commit time and finances to feed your dog a healthy diet.
Is Your Child Ready To Share The Responsibility
Another important consideration is who will share the responsibility of caring for a dog? Ask yourself if your children can feed the pet, clean out the cage, and take the dog out for a walk. If the kids cannot follow simple directions, you may have to wait until they can take care of a pet. Waiting will help prevent mistreatment of the dog and unwanted accidents like bites.
Having a furry friend at home can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. But before you can adopt a dog, you want to make sure your family is ready for the long haul.