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Are You Ready For A Dog? – Checklist

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There are many things to consider when it comes to whether or not you are ready for a dog.

According to a study by The Kennel Club, only 10% of people reported that they bought a puppy after checking to make sure that it would be suited to their lifestyle.

Do you know if you are ready for a dog, or which one is best for your lifestyle?

Here is a checklist to help you figure that out.


A Dog Ends Up Being A Big Part Of Your Family:

A dog being a part of your family means that it should easily fit into the activities and situations that currently exist in your home. Do you own any other animals that may not get along with a new dog? Let’s discuss what factors you should consider:

  • Can you commit to your dog for the length of its life?
  • Can you financially afford to feed and care for your dog?
  • Do you have enough space?
  • Are there other pets that may be intimidated by a new dog?
  • Have you investigated whether or not your dog is friendly towards children?
  • Can you commit to exercising your new dog?
  • Are there more fragile people in your home, what happens when your dog jumps on them?
  • Do you have frequent guests or events in your home?


The Type Of Dog You Get Can Make A Big Difference:

It can be very easy to go into a shelter or a pet store and fall in love with the cute cuddly puppy in the window. They are all adorable when they are young, but how much do you know about the type of breed you are getting? The type of dog you get can have different needs to consider:

  • How do you expect your new pet to fit into your life?
  • Are you looking for a high energy running and hiking buddy, or someone to watch TV with?
  • Have you considered whether you need a breed of dog that has less dander or sheds less?
  • Is there a lot of tension in your home? Stress can exacerbate behavior problems in dogs.
  • Would an older or younger dog better fit your current lifestyle?
  • Do you need a dog that is easily trainable, or do you have time and patience for a more independent breed?
  • Do you need a dog that follows you around or one that is less clingy?
  • Do you need a dog that can travel with you often?
  • Can your home accommodate a larger dog, or do you only have room for a smaller one?
  • What happens if your dog grows larger than originally expected?


There Are Costs Associated With Every Dog:

Whether you pick up your new best friend from a breeder, or a shelter, or if it is being given away for free, there are costs associated with every dog. When it comes to these costs, they can be a significant consideration as to whether of not you are ready for a dog. While there are some pet insurances out there to help with some of these costs, there are plenty of other costs to consider.

  • Spaying or Neutering
  • Veterinary Care
  • Licensing and Identity Chipping
  • Yearly shots and preventative care
  • Collars, Leashes and ID tags
  • Grooming Supplies
  • Toys
  • Food
  • Bed
  • Crate
  • Carrier
  • Unexpected costs such as accidents or illness
  • Behavioral support, medications, or training school
  • Pet boarding or services for when you are out of town


Considerations When It Comes To Time

One thing you need to think about when it comes to deciding whether or not you are ready for a new dog, is whether or not you have enough time for it. This includes not only time for activities, but also the attention your new dog will need emotionally.

  • Feeding
  • Training
  • Exercising
  • Grooming
  • Playing
  • Personal Attention
  • Bathroom Needs


New Dog Shopping Checklist

If you have gone through this entire checklist and you feel like you are ready for a new dog, then congratulations! You are about to embark on an amazing adventure. Please see the following checklist that will help you fully prepare for your new dog.

  • Food and Water Bowls
  • Dog food – check to see if your new friend needs a special diet
  • Collar
  • Dog Leash
  • ID tag with your contact information
  • Dog carrier for vet trips
  • Dog bed
  • Dog bathing supplies
  • Nail Clippers
  • Dog tooth care, chewable dental sticks or toothpaste
  • Grooming brushes or combs
  • Non-toxic cleaners for accidents
  • Odor neutralizer
  • Pooper scooper or baggies for walks or cleaning up the backyard
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • First aid supplies
  • Baby gates


Dog First Aid Kit

According to the American Kennel Club, there are some specific items that you should have on hand for your new dog in case of a medical emergency or health issue. Just like humans, you should have a well-stocked medical kit for any unforeseen issues. Whether you end up needing to remove a splinter, or help with a tummy ache, there are several items you may want to have on hand:

  • Pet Emergency Guide – reference guide on first aid for dogs
  • Gauze
  • Non-Stick Bandages
  • Cotton Balls
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Milk of Magnesia
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Syringes
  • Flashlight
  • Towel
  • Soft Muzzle

As outlined in this checklist, there are many things to consider when it comes to whether or not you are ready for a new dog.

Your new friend is going to be an integral part of your life, so make sure you take into consideration the other people in your life and how a new dog fits into that.

Also, remember that it is important to choose a type of dog that matches your lifestyle.

There are of course time and financial considerations when it comes to adding a new dog to your family and knowing that you can take care of all of these needs for over a decade is important.

Bringing home a dog though, can be extremely rewarding and fun.