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10 Things to Consider Before Getting a Dog

Getting a pet can be an exciting and eye opening experience. This can be equated to that halfway point where responsibility for someone other than you begins.

While dogs are loyal, fun loving and adaptable animals there are some considerations necessary to ensure that your dream dog doesn’t turn into your worst nightmare.

Selecting a dog is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So here are some things to consider before you make that final decision whether to get a dog

1. Where you live

Do you live in an apartment on the fourth floor or do you own a house with a backyard and a fence? Do you live in a ranch with hundreds of acres at your disposal or are you renting the top floor of a store?

Most apartments will generally have a “No pets” policy. For those buildings that allow pets it is necessary to consider if your new housemate will be a bother to your neighbours. You also do not want to keep a dog in a busy city where there is the constant risk of getting run over by cars every time he runs out.

Consider the amount of space you have. If it is small then go for a small breed that will fit in your house. Toy breeds are perfect in almost any home.

2. Purpose of the dog

Dogs can serve many purposes. If you live in an unsafe neighbourhood you may want to get a guard dog that will alert you in case of any “uninvited guests”. Some people keep dogs for companionship while others may want a guide dog or a dog for therapeutic purposes.


Why do you want a dog? Do you want a dog that for your children or for you? Do you want a companion to keep you company in the house or do you want a dog that will sweep off rewards at the dog show? Do you want a dog that will help you in the course of your work?

Knowing what purpose the dog will serve will help you in selecting the correct kind of dog that will suit your needs.

3. Responsibility

Dogs require a lot of care and attention. Getting a dog is a responsibility that must be taken seriously. You must be prepared to deal with the kind of responsibility that having a dog brings. Remember as your legal responsibility, any damage or harm that your dog may cause will be on your tab.

4. Breed (pure vs. mixed)

If you want to breed dogs in future purebreds are an obvious choice since it is easy to trace parentage. Purebreds are preferred by many since they are predictable i.e. it is easy to tell what the dog will be like. With mixed breeds however, you just wait and see how the dog turns out, nothing is assured. However whether pure or mixed, a dog is only as good as the bond between it and the owner.

5. Male or female

Females are much calmer, cleaner and gentler. On the other hand they are a lot to handle during their breeding season which comes twice a year. Males will be more aggressive and unsettled. If you do not intend to breed you can have your dog neutered before you take it home with you.

6. Personality

Are you a calm relaxed person or are you more energetic and lively? Like people dogs differ in disposition. Some dogs tend to be quite shy and keep to themselves while some will be all over the place. An easy going person will for example find it somewhat difficult to keep up with more energetic breeds like terriers. Find a dog that will complement your personality.

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7. Health

If you are allergic to dog’s hair consider a short haired breed. These have flat coats and thus do not shed as much hair as their long haired companions. Some people are allergic to fleas while in people suffering from asthma getting a dog may not be such a good idea since it may complicate the condition.

8. Age of dog

You can either get your dog as a pup or adult. Pups may be adorable to look at but need a lot of training and care as they mature into dogs. Adults on the other hand do not require as much attention. If you have the time, watching your pup as it matures and training it to suit your household is a fun experience. If you do not have the time then goes for a trained adolescent.

9. Children

Do you have children in the house? If yes, get a dog that will be gentle with the children and one that they can take care of. Some dogs are particularly suited with children such as the bulldog since they are gentle, calm and very friendly.

10. Cost

Getting a dog will cost you some money. Even if you get the dog as a gift, you still need to consider the cost of feeding and maintaining the dog. Dogs require annual vaccinations against some diseases, that aside, your dog may get sick and you have to take him to the veterinarian. Can you afford to keep a dog?

Just a reminder, make sure you check out the free dog life saving video below, you'll be so glad that you did: 

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