Who doesn’t want furry friends in their life? Owning a pet can be rewarding. Your home will be a better place with a pup around. That wagging tail will brush aside the worries of your day. Even so, it’s important not to rush into a decision. A pet isn’t there to make you feel better. They also need love and affection. You need to be sure you can give them what they need before you commit. One of the most important things to consider is whether you have the time. There’s a reason many rehoming charities don’t let full-time workers adopt. Dogs take up a lot of time, and if you’re working full-time, it’s unlikely you can give them what they need. If you think you have the time but want to be sure, you’ve come to the right place. These points should make up your mind.
HOW OFTEN IS YOUR HOUSE EMPTY?
Start by considering how often your house is empty. If you work full-time, are there other people who can spend time with your dog during the day? So long as there’s someone in the house, your four-legged friend will be happy. Remember that dogs are pack animals. They’re not accustomed to being alone, and it leaves them vulnerable and afraid. When you bring a dog into your home, you become its pack leader. Without you, it won’t know what to do. If you work 9-5, five days a week, imagine how afraid your dog will be for the majority of the time. It’s not fair! More than that, it could lead to destructive or aggressive behaviour. Separation anxiety may cause dogs to scratch on doors and destroy furniture. They can also spend extended periods of time howling, which won’t go down well with your neighbours. Not to mention that your dog is more likely to be hostile towards you when you are around. Extended periods of time apart can break your bond!
KNOW WHAT A DOG NEEDS
You may not realise how much a dog needs. As well as needing you around for company and love, their other needs must be met as well! Most importantly, dogs need regular walks. The amount of time your dog needs walking varies depending on the breed you choose. Large dogs can need 2-3 hours of walks a day, spaced throughout the day to burn off energy. Smaller dogs are easier to handle, but even they need at least half an hour walks. Think about whether this is something you could achieve. Even if you have the time, are you going to want to go out for a walk when you get home from work? It may seem like a doable feat on summer evenings when the sun is still shining, and the weather is great. But, what about those dark winter nights, when the rain is hammering down? Be honest about whether you would still be happy to go out. The good news is, there are companies like Friends for Pets dog walking who can walk your dog if you don’t think you have the time. Remember, though, that this is an extra cost on top of an already expensive pet!
REMEMBER THE LOVE
Of course, there’s more than the technicalities to consider. Your dog needs your love. You can give them all the food, and toys in the world, but it won’t be enough. Your dog needs to spend time in your company. They need plenty of attention. That doesn’t mean having them in the same room, either. You’ll need to get down and play with them, too. You may think you have enough love to give, but again, it’s time that’s the issue. Do you have time to give your dog the attention they need? There’s no easy fix for this. If you’re unsure, a dog may not be the right choice for you.
AND THE TRAINING!
When you first get your dog, you’re going to have to put a lot of time into ensuring they become the dog you need. One aspect of that is the training you’ll need to undertake. This is essential, so if you don’t think you have time, a dog should be off the cards. You’ll need to take your dog for training classes, which are just as important for you as they are for your dog. That means you can’t trust the responsibility to someone else. Whoever goes to those classes is who your dog will see as alpha. It has to be you!