It is inevitable that your child will or has asked you, “Can we get a dog?” My husband and I fell victim to this very question 2 years ago when our eldest son was 6 years old. Our response was that we’d revisit the idea when you turn 8. Welp, he turns 8 in 3 months and we’ve kept our word. After 6 months of researching and going back-and-forth to the pet store, we’ve finally adopted a canine family member (pretty sure our picture should have been plastered on the wall for frequenting without purchasing anything).
Getting to this point was exhausting! Between deciding and agreeing on a breed, sex, and puppy versus adult (prices will vary), it was a never-ending debate amongst the entire family. Finding a kid-friendly dog that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is ideal for any family because the expenses after the initial purchase will quickly add up. I’m no expert, but here are a few things to consider before adopting or buying a dog.
Research Breeds before choosing a dog
There are a lot of resources out there that will help you narrow down your search. It is important to know what you and your family are getting into before heading out and buying the first cute puppy you fall in love with. Consider what breed would match your family’s lifestyle. Every breed has a different temperament and what may look cute on the outside, might not be so friendly on the inside! Going to the pet store is a great place to play with different breeds before making the commitment to buy one.
The willingness to sacrifice your time
I can tell you first hand, that having a puppy has required me to get up earlier and come home sooner than I would have normally. So consider whether or not you are willing to give up more of your time for your pet than you may be used to or even want to. We have almost had to shift our schedule around the dog. There will be no more spur of the moment plans or last minute family getaways. In addition, an extra expenditure for boarding that you now have to account for.
They can cost you a pretty penny
Did you think that purchasing a dog and dog food were the only new expenses you would incur? WRONG! By adding an additional 4 feet to your family, you will also be required to keep the dog’s essential vaccinations up-to-date, flea and tick prevention, heart worm medication and additional unforeseen medical procedures.
The puppy stage
There’s no denying that puppies are the cutest! But keep in mind that puppies will be very needy for the first couple of months. You will also need to consider that more time and effort is required to train them versus an adult dog (i.e. potty training and following commands). You can expect your new furry friend to chew on just about anything he or she can get their paws on. The teething stage doesn’t last forever but is it something that you could live with (i.e. chewed up shoes, furniture, and clothes)?
We have somehow managed to commit ourselves to all of this (we all know who’s doing most of the work-this mama), after all of the researching and about 50 pet store visits later, we couldn’t be happier to have found a furry companion that fits our family perfectly. You may be wondering how could I be so smitten over something that has peed in my home, has bitten through some of my clothes, altered my schedule, sheds, and has made my home smell like dog. While it has only been a mere 2 weeks, I couldn’t imagine our life without our sweet Harper!