The arrival of a dog at home can completely change our lives. In most cases, having a dog fills our lives with love, companionship, and happiness. But we must take into account many other changes that occur when we add another member to the family. We cannot deny that the countless benefits of having a dog are undeniable, but we’ve already talked about that in many other posts. Today, we want to tell you in this post what other 10 things you should know before getting a dog.

1. A Dog Changes Your Life

Photo by Andrew Mead

What we should ask ourselves before making the decision to get a dog is: what is my current lifestyle like? Perhaps by analyzing our daily life, we realize that, as much as we want to, there is no room for a dog in our lives. It is important to determine if we have time for him when we return from work; analyze how many hours a day he will be alone, and above all, how stable our current life is and for how long we can maintain that stability. Another interesting question is: what plans do I have for the next ten years? A dog will accompany us for many years in our lives, and therefore we must know if we can offer him time and care now and in the future.

2. Having a Dog Costs Money

It seems obvious, but it is surprising the number of families that did not consider this small detail when they made the decision. At best, having a dog entails fixed expenses that we cannot do without. Such as equipment for walks (leash, harness, collar), bed, toys, blankets, food, veterinarians, etc.

However, it is important to know that having a dog can entail endless expenses that we had not counted on and that appear in the form of unforeseen events. A dog may have behavioral problems that you may need to work on with the help of a dog trainer. A dog may also develop various diseases, allergies, or intolerances that will significantly increase your expenses. And having a dog, like any change in your life, can mean unexpected expenses that you had not imagined.

3. Having a Dog Requires Time

The idea of having a dog is very appealing at first. Having company when you come home from work, going for walks together, and enjoying moments by their side is undoubtedly a change many of us fantasize about at some point in our lives. One of the 10 things you should know before getting a dog is that there will be no room for laziness. Staying on the sofa on a rainy winter afternoon will not be an option. Your dog needs to go for walks and do their business every day, at least 2 or 3 times.

Have you made spontaneous plans? We’re sorry to say that you won’t be able to extend any gathering if your dog is waiting at home for you to go for a walk. And it’s not just about walks; your friend will also need quality time with you, cuddles, playtime, and training.

4. Dogs Require Time and Dedication for Training

Photo by Juan Gomez

That’s right, one of the things you should know before getting a dog is that you will have to invest a lot of time (and sometimes money) in their training. If your new friend is a puppy, the first weeks will be crucial for their development. What you do during that time will forever shape their behavior. For example, teaching a dog to do their business outside requires training that we can do ourselves with time and effort. The same goes for teaching them basic commands. And of course, it will be the ideal time to decide what is allowed and what is not (for example, getting on the sofa or bed).

In many cases, dogs can develop behavioral problems. And we’re sorry to say that this often doesn’t depend on how “well” or “badly” you’ve done. Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety, meaning they can’t be alone. There are dogs with fears and dogs that are not sociable with other dogs and/or people. And there are dogs with behavioral problems that make both them and their families live under certain conditions. All of this can be improved with education and training from professionals, which of course, will require time and money.

5. Dogs Get Sick Too

Unfortunately, dogs also get sick. Sometimes it’s an isolated incident, but many times they develop a condition that requires our effort, time, and money. Speaking of financial aspects, you should know that veterinary costs are usually not cheap (especially if it’s an emergency service). Dog surgeries can be just as expensive as ours, and sometimes they’re not covered by our insurance.

We can’t forget about dog food either. It’s easy to make a quick estimate of what we’ll spend on their food if we think about “normal” kibble. But did you know that some dogs develop intolerances? It takes many families months to figure out what type of food is right for their dog.

And most importantly, seeing a dog get sick is, for many of us, just as hard as seeing any other family member fall ill.

6. Dogs Grow

Every year, thousands of dogs are abandoned. Many of them were given as Christmas gifts when they were puppies, only to end up in shelters or rescues months later.

When you adopt a dog, it’s crucial to know that depending on their breed or mix, they may continue to grow over the next few months. That’s why we need to consider what kind of dog we’ll have and what kind of home and routine they’ll need.

7. Not All Dogs Need the Same Thing

It’s extremely important to know what type of dog is suitable for our environment and lifestyle. Due to their breed, some dogs need to run for hours to expend the necessary energy in a day. Providing enough exercise for your dog will be key to their well-being.

Stimulation games are indispensable for many dogs, and for some of them, walks alone are not enough. If you want your dog to stay stable and happy, you’ll need to dedicate time to other types of activities that help them stay calm at the end of the day.

Of course, you should consider the environment you live in to decide what type of dog is best for you. For example, if you live in a place with low temperatures. Or on the contrary, in a place where temperatures reach high levels during hot seasons.

8. Your Home Won’t Be the Same Again

This is true. You should know that your home, furniture, and clothes will be filled with hair, and it will take a lot of time and sacrifice to get rid of them. Additionally, especially in the first few weeks, you may encounter some unexpected damage. It’s not so serious, but it’s something to keep in mind.

You’ll need to dog-proof your home. Pick up and hide valuable items, protect furniture you don’t want to get damaged, clean up pee and poop in unsuspected places, and so on.

And most importantly, you’ll also need to make your home safe for your new friend.

9. There Are Legal Requirements for Having a Dog

Knowing the legal requirements is vital before getting a dog. You’ll need to find out about the obligations in your country and city.

What type of insurance do I need? What am I obligated to do? Do I need to take any courses or certifications? These are some of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself before getting a dog. Not to mention the obligation of microchipping, vaccinations, deworming, etc.

10. I Have to Consider My Dog When Traveling

Photo by Ignacio Amenábar

The last thing on this list of 10 things you should know before getting a dog is that you’ll have to change the way you organize trips.

If there’s one thing we know at Gudog, it’s about what it means to travel when you have a dog. When you have a dog, it won’t be enough to buy tickets and book hotels. Now you’ll have to consider whether you want your dog to accompany you or if it’s better for them not to travel with you. If so, you’ll need to know the requirements for traveling by plane, train, or car with a dog (besides knowing that not all are prepared for it). And from now on, the “pet-friendly” filter will be part of your life. Unfortunately, you’ll find that the options are significantly reduced.

But if there’s one thing you should know when traveling, it’s that there are wonderful options that will help you in these situations. If you’ve decided that your dog won’t travel with you, a private dog sitter can be your greatest ally. While you enjoy your vacation, your dog will be at a sitter’s home receiving attention and care. So, keep this option in mind if you decide to share your life with a dog.

What is Gudog?

Gudog is the easiest way to find & book the perfect dog Sitter. Thousands of loving Sitters are ready to care for your dog like family! All bookings come with Veterinary Care & Free Cancellation.