Are You Ready to Adopt a Dog? 6 Things to Consider: Lifestyle, Budget, Breed

Are You Ready to Adopt a Dog? 6 Things to Consider: Lifestyle, Budget, Breed

Mar 26, 2024

Dogs. Our loyal companions and furry therapists. The decision to bring a dog into your life is a momentous one, filled with the promise of endless cuddles, playful adventures, and a love unlike any other. But before you succumb to the allure of those irresistible puppy-dog eyes, it's important to assess your readiness for canine companionship. Owning a dog is a long-term commitment, and ensuring you're fully prepared will set both you and your furry friend up for a lifetime of happiness.

In this blog, we’re going to cover six important considerations:

  1. Does your lifestyle accommodate a pup?
  2. Are you financially able to provide for a pup?
  3. Which breed is right for you?
  4. Are you adopting or rescuing?
  5. Is your home dog-friendly?
  6. Are you committed to prioritizing the health of your furry friend?

We’re sure you’re eager, so let’s dive in! First things first: Are you cut out for the canine crew?

Are You Cut Out for the Canine Crew?

Let's face it, puppies are undeniably cute. Their clumsy antics and boundless energy melt even the most stoic hearts. However, cuteness fades, and what you're left with is a living, breathing creature with needs that must be met consistently. Bringing a dog into your life is not like bringing home a toy or houseplant. Dogs require your attention, time, and care. Consider the following:

Can you make time for your dog?

Dogs are social creatures who thrive on interaction. Daily walks, playtime, and training sessions are essential for their physical and mental well-being. Do you have a flexible schedule that can accommodate these needs? Working long hours might necessitate hiring a dog walker or exploring doggy daycare options - can you afford such a cost? The average lifespan of a dog is 12 to 14 years. Adopting a furry friend is not a decision to be made without thinking hard about the hourly, daily, and yearly investment they require.

Can you keep up with your dog’s energy?

Different breeds are wired for different paces. Golden Retrievers crave adventure, their boundless energy demanding frequent walks, hikes, and playtime. Shepherd breeds (German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Collies) are born with a desire to work. They are high-energy pups that won’t be happy in an environment that keeps them caged. On the contrary, Bulldogs are content with leisurely strolls and afternoon naps curled up on the couch. Before jumping in and choosing the “cutest” pup, research the many different breeds to find one that complements your lifestyle.

Does your living space accommodate a dog?

Your home will become your dog’s home, as well. They must have space to play, a safe spot to sleep, and an area to go to the bathroom. Space is also a large concern if you are bringing your pup into a home with other pets. Many smaller breeds like Chihuahuas or Shih Tzus can thrive in apartments with frequent walks to fulfill their exercise needs. However, if you envision a Great Dane sprawled majestically across your living room floor, you might need a more spacious abode. Consider adopting an older dog if space is limited, as their exercise requirements tend to be less demanding.

The Financial Responsibility of Dog Ownership

Owning a dog is an investment. It’s much more fun than investing in your 401K, but it is an investment nonetheless. It's crucial to ensure you can comfortably afford a dog’s needs during the span of their life. Here's a breakdown of some key cost factors:

  1. Food: High-quality dog food is vital for maintaining your pup's health. Costs vary depending on breed, size, and food quality. While budget-friendly options exist, remember, "you get what you pay for" often applies to dog food. Look for all-natural dog food options without added preservatives, hormones, and antibiotics among other unsafe dog food ingredients. Similarly, it’s important to also invest in high-quality dog treats like those offered from Bully Sticks Direct.
  2. Veterinary Care: Regular checkups, vaccinations, and potential emergencies can add up quickly. Luckily, you can protect your pet just like you’d protect your home and car. Consider purchasing pet insurance for unexpected vet bills that can hit your wallet hard.
  3. Preventative Care: Fleas, ticks, and heartworm prevention are essential to safeguard your dog's health. These costs may seem small, but they add up over time. Neutering is another common expense dog owners face in the early months of adoption in order to prevent pregnancy.
  4. Training: Investing in obedience training can prevent future behavioral problems and strengthen the bond with your dog. While you can train your dog yourself with dedication and patience, professional trainers can provide invaluable guidance, especially for first-time dog owners.
  5. Miscellaneous: Don't forget about the extras! Toys, treats, bedding, leashes, harnesses, waste bags, and other pet supplies contribute to the overall cost of dog ownership. These are rarely one-time costs, which is why some companies like Bully Sticks Direct offer an “Auto Ship and Save” option! When you do purchase treats for your pup, go the extra mile and purchase from a family-owned business in the USA like Bully Sticks Direct. Learn more about the company’s many benefits online.

If you’re not sure about being able to afford a dog, there are other pets to consider! You may find that cats, rabbits, fish, and reptiles require less time, money, and attention. Before adopting a dog, make sure you’re prepared for the responsibility they require.

Matching Breeds to Personalities: Finding Your Perfect Pup

Every dog breed boasts a unique personality and set of needs. Before you head to the animal shelter, think about your preferences when it comes to size, coat, gender, and breed. Considering the right breed for you is especially important. As previously mentioned, every breed is different. Ensure you do your own research and look closely at things such as:

  • Energy Levels: High-energy breeds like Border Collies or Australian Shepherds require constant mental and physical stimulation. If your idea of a perfect evening doesn't involve a brisk jog followed by a vigorous game of fetch, a high-energy breed might not be the best fit.
  • Temperament: Do you have young children? Opt for a patient and gentle breed like a Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever. Maybe you’re single, living an active lifestyle and craving an adventurous companion who can keep up! Perhaps a Siberian Husky or a Poodle would be a better match.
  • Grooming Needs: Some breeds like Poodles or Yorkshire Terriers require regular brushing and professional grooming to maintain their luxurious coats. If the thought of daily brushing fills you with dread, consider a low-maintenance breed with a short-hair coat like a Beagle or a Boxer.
  • Trainability: Certain breeds like German Shepherds or Border Collies are renowned for their intelligence and eagerness to please, making training a breeze. Other breeds might require more patience and perseverance. Research the trainability of different breeds to ensure you're prepared for the commitment.

Creating a Dog-Friendly Home

Before your furry friend arrives, transforming your home into a dog-friendly haven is crucial. This "puppy-proofing" process ensures their safety and minimizes the potential for chewed furniture and accidents.

Chew Central: Puppies explore the world with their mouths. This means electrical cords, loose wires, phone chargers, and anything else left within reach become potential chew toys. Secure cords behind furniture or use cable organizers. Pick up shoes, socks, and other tempting objects to prevent accidental ingestion. Provide an abundance of chew toys made from safe materials like rope or hard rubber to redirect their chewing instincts.

Hazardous Materials: Cleaning products, medications, and houseplants can be toxic to dogs. Store these items out of reach in cabinets or on high shelves. Research common houseplants that are poisonous to dogs and remove them from your home if necessary.

Designated Dog Areas: Create a cozy sleeping area for your pup with a comfortable bed. This will become their safe haven for naps and relaxation. Establish a dedicated bathroom location for potty training, using puppy pads initially and gradually transitioning to an outdoor area.

Baby Gates and Barriers: Utilize baby gates to block off access to rooms and stairs that are off-limits, such as the laundry room or your home office. This prevents unsupervised exploration and potential dangers. Secure gates firmly to walls or doorways to ensure they can't be easily pushed open by an enthusiastic pup.

Fenced Yard Fun: If you have a backyard, ensure it's securely fenced to prevent escapes. Check for weak spots, gaps, or areas where your dog might be able to dig under the fence. Create a shaded area for them to escape the hot sun and provide fresh water readily available at all times.

Adopting vs. Buying: Giving a Rescue Dog a Second Chance

While breeders offer purebred puppies, consider the incredible dogs waiting for their forever homes in shelters and rescues. Adopting a rescue dog has numerous benefits, for one, variety! Shelters are brimming with a diverse mix of breeds and ages. You're bound to find a dog that perfectly complements your lifestyle and personality. Older dogs are typically the last to be adopted, but make a great companion for someone with a slower lifestyle. Give every pup a chance and see where sparks fly!

If affordability was a concern, adopting a dog from the shelter offers significantly lower costs than buying from a breeder. The adoption process at a shelter typically includes spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping, saving you money on these essential procedures.

Give a dog a second chance at life! Rescue dogs often shower their adoptive families with unconditional love and gratitude, creating a truly special bond. Take a visit to your local animal shelter before you choose to shop online.

Bringing Home Your New Best Friend: The First Few Weeks

So, you’ve decided to adopt! The first few weeks with your new dog are a crucial bonding period. It's a time to establish ground rules, build trust, and create a foundation for a happy and fulfilling relationship. Once you have your home prepared, have patience as your pup adjusts to the sounds, smells, and people in their new surroundings. Keep a bag of their favorite treats close by in order to start training and rewarding good behavior! We recommend these all-natural treats from Bully Sticks Direct. Why? Bully Sticks Direct is:

  • All-Natural
  • Preservative-Free
  • Hormone-Free
  • Antibiotic-Free
  • Family-Owned
  • Based in Michigan, USA

As mentioned before, a dog is an investment! When you put your money towards your pup, choose to support a small business like Bully Sticks Direct! Browse our large catalog of products online and follow along with us on social

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