“Pets are a part the family mom”, these are the words that my 4 year old repeatedly tells us. It seems at only 4 she understands the huge commitment it is to have a family dog. For over a year Lia asked for a dog EVERY, SINGLE, DAY! At the time I had just given birth to the twins and adding more responsibility was something we could not do at the time.
Here we are, the twins are almost 2, and our day-to-day is more manageable. We have just about 2 years of twin parenting under our belts & feel like we have the hang of this. After much thought, research & preparation my husband and I decided it was time to add a family dog into our lives.
How did we know we were ready? How to know if YOU are ready? Keep on reading to find out. These are the top questions to ask yourself if you think you may be ready.
How To Know if You’re Ready For a Family Dog
1.Do you have the TIME for a family dog?
One of the most important things to remember is a dog is an added responsibility, almost like having another child. Your dog will need to be groomed, played with, trained, exercised, fed, etc. Do you have the time required to raise a loving dog?
We had to assess our lives currently and in the future. My husband and I will indefinitely work from home, giving us plenty of time to be with our dog.
2.Are you ready for a lifelong commitment?
By lifelong I mean the length of the dog’s life. Like I mentioned before a family dog is another member of your family. Although dogs typically live between 10-15 yrs (depending on the breed), you want to be able to commit to their whole life.
3.Do you have the ability & time to train a dog?
Training a dog is a daily thing. Most issues with a dog’s behavior can be traced back to the way a dog is trained or the lack of training. This could mean hiring a trainer, group training classes, and continuing to train your daily at home.
4.Does a dog fit your lifestyle?
Before deciding to get a dog we had to take a look at our life. Are you a person who travels often? Works late? Is never home? The idea of a dog can seem so nice but a dog may not fit your life.
Are you ready to take them on walks daily as well as include time to play for your dog? These are all questions to ask yourself.
5.Are you financially prepared?
Owning a dog comes with added financial responsibilities. You have the things you anticipate like food, toys, bedding, training, grooming, vet visits, vaccinations, etc. However, you also have the costs you don’t anticipate like medical emergencies. It is important to factor this into your decision as well.
6.Do you have space?
The amount of space you need of course depends on whether you get a small, medium , or large dog. However, there will be other things like your dog’s bed, toys, and food that need storage space as well.
For a larger dog of course you want some space to run, or access to it.
7.Are your kids ready for a family dog?
This was the BIGGEST question for us. We took a look at the age of our kids and the amount of attention required by them, and determined we were at a place where we felt comfortable adding a dog to the mix. You want to ask yourself if your kids are prepared to help with the responsibility and love on a new fur baby!
If after reading these questions you feel like this is your time to add a family member, yay! If not, don’t worry the time will come. It took us a few years to felt ready and are now so excited for the new adventures!