8 Things to know before getting a dog

Getting a dog can be one of the best things you can do for yourself because furry animals are companions that will always stick with you.

Moreover, bringing them home will provide them with a shelter and family they can call their own.

However, getting a dog means giving them shelter or food and providing a conducive environment for their growth, spending time together, and covering a long list of expenses.

If you are thinking about bringing a furry friend home, you must know a few basic things to make their transition easier.

Start With Asking Yourself, Should You Get a Dog? 

If you are looking to get a companion animal, then you should definitely get a dog.

But keep in mind; you are making a long-term commitment to care for an animal you brought home.

Here are a few reasons why you should get a dog.

  • Dogs make great companions: They are highly devoted and loyal to their human counterparts. They can be likewise engaging and entertaining. 
  • Dogs are blissful: They are always ecstatic to see you each day, after work, and each time you come home—like they haven't seen you for a long time.
  • They make you happy: You will never get sad with those wiggly butts bouncing and jumping around you.
  • They Make You Healthier: Exercising with them will help you stay fit and healthy.

It is astounding that dogs can also become service animals to assist during disabilities. Furthermore, they are one of the ideal home security you can have. 

However, you should know a few essential things about getting them.

8 Things to Remember When Getting a Dog 

Getting a canine can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life.

However, be better prepared to bring a new member into your home and clearly understand the responsibilities that will add to your life.

1. Is Your Family Comfortable With the Dog?

If you plan to own a dog, ensure everyone in your family is on board. Taking care of an animal is the group’s responsibility but yourself.

Ensure your family and friends welcome them with arms wide open and provide an equal amount of love.

Every individual living with a dog needs to feel good and comfortable.

Think about who will be the primary guardian and caregiver. 

If anybody is stressed over getting a dog, you should consider dropping the idea for a while. 

2. What Kind of Dog is Appropriate for You?

Like humans, dogs are also all different. They come in different shapes, sizes and breeds.

Before getting a pet, it is crucial to know what kind of dog is appropriate for you. 

Make a list of the features that you are looking for in a dog-like big or small, active or calm dog, and so forth.

Get a dog that suits your temperament. If you are not for a giant breed, opt for small breeds like Pomeranian, Russian Toy, Chihuahua, etc.

You can also use the dog breed selector to determine the one best fits you and your personality. 

3. Expenses for Dog

There is no set cost for purchasing or maintaining a dog, but be prepared to prepare a minimal budget required for their upkeep.

If your earnings are hardly sufficient for yourself, you should better drop the idea of owning a dog. 

Only providing food and sleep may be insufficient for a dog. Care to provide grooming, toys, vaccinations, medical bills, and other associated costs.

More importantly, do not forget about the veterinary expenses, where a bi-annual wellness check could run from $45 to $100.

The following table will make it easier to understand the cost of owning a pet dog. 





Routine Medical Costs (Vaccines, Wellness Visits, etc)


Preventative Medication (Heartworm, Flea/ Tick)






Health Insurance


Kennel / Boarding (per day)


Professional grooming and dental




Grooming Supplies (Shampoo, Conditioner)


Annual Total



Source: ASPCA


Initial one-time cost

Spay / Neuter


Initial Medical Costs (Vaccines, etc)


Collar / Leash / Harnesses








Training Assets (Class, At Home Materials)


Grooming Tools (Brushes, Clippers, Etc)


Initial Total



Source: ASPCA 

4. Commitment

The most exciting thing to understand is that getting a pet is committing to a life-long duty.

Before taking that responsibility, the owners need to consider what their future pet will require. 

If you work out of your home, you should at least care to take them to a day boarding or ask another family member to look after them.

However, if you likely spend less time at home, perhaps it is best to drop the idea of owning a pet for a while. 

5. Suitable Environment

Before getting a dog, ensure that you have a safe, cherishing, loving, and stable home for them.

Dogs are social animals and thrive in human company. They do not admit well to detachment and isolation.

Remember that a dog should not be caged or tied for a long time for fear of turning hostile towards its owners.

You should provide them with an environment to run, exercise, and play.

Ensure to make a place where the dog can go when it gets frightened to avoid things 

6. Dog Diet

Dogs require the right amount of nutrition every day.

Ensure that you feed them according to their age, breed, and lifestyle.

Don't overfeed your dog. Overfeeding can cause obesity and result in serious health problems in the future. 

This infographic might help you understand your dog’s daily calorie requirement and nutrition.

Each dog is distinct, so you should ensure what your dog needs. For example, the calorie count is different with different dogs with their age group and weight.

7. Dog Healthcare 

Like humans, pets also need healthcare services. You should register your dog with a vet and stay updated with the latest vaccinations, bug, and flea medicine. 

  • A wellness check twice a year and a few vital checkups are necessary, such as urine and blood test once or twice a year.
  • A dog needs periodic clinical examination for its general wellbeing. A well-being examination requires to ensure that your dog remains healthy throughout its life.
  • A health check may likewise incorporate immunizations like routine shots for rabies, influenza, and so on.
  • The time and span for well checks or periodical visits might contrast as per the canine's age.
  • If your dog indicates sickness, you should take them to the vet at that very moment. 

8. They Need Socialization As Well As Privacy.

Dogs also need interaction, space, and alone time like human beings. 

Dogs are amiable and have to play and interact with other people and dogs. However, they also need a peaceful spot to be distant whenever they need. 

Ensure that they have a place in the house to be by themselves.

Interaction not only means petting your dog. It means all forms of physical, emotional, and social connections. 

Likewise, it is essential to understand that they need some time. You need to provide your dog with a safe zone to spend alone.  


Once you own a dog, they can become inseparable, and the bond will strengthen with time.

Be attentive to a pet’s needs and understand what it would require to have a healthy and happy pet.

It becomes your responsibility to love, train, feed, and play with them.

If you are unsure or unwilling to accept the pointers mentioned above, drop the idea of owning a dog until it is the right time.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale, to learn more about taking care of your pet.

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