1. Research breeds before choosing a dog.
Though you may have always dreamed of owning a poodle or a German shepherd, it's important to know what you're in for with each type of dog before you head to the shelter or breeder.
"It's critical the breed matches your lifestyle.
“We fall in love with the form but don’t always realize that temperaments can be extremely different.
Dogs are NOT the same and with different exteriors.
Every breed has a personality of its own and knowing in advance what exactly that is could save you a lot of trouble down the road. "People seem upset when a Doberman is chewing,
"But that’s what they do.”
2. Get ready to sacrifice your time.
Much like having a child, adopting a dog means you take on the responsibility of a living being whose needs often come before your own desires. That usually translates to giving up more time for your pet than you might be used to — or want to.
This means an end to her pre-pet spontaneous plans.
No more last minutes plans for day, weekend or week-long trips. You have to find someone to watch and let them out because you can't always take them with you.
If you're not prepared to make that kind of sacrifice, you shouldn't go buy that dog collar just yet.
If you don’t have that time to give, it’s not yet time to have a dog. They’re not creatures of isolation.
You need to be available to them.
3. If you have kids, schedule a home visit before adopting or buying.
Even if you love a dog and that dog loves you back, don't commit to making that pooch a part of the family until you know that the dog is going to love your kids.
If you have children, find a breed who loves your children, not just tolerates them.
Taking time to schedule a home visit with the dog to see how he or she interacts with your kids is the best way to see if the dog is going to like them.
Behavior you should look for is sense that the dog wants to be around your child more than anything.
IF in doubt, look for similar things as you would when looking for a child or nanny, You are looking for an animal that is going to spend a years in close contact with your child.
4. They can cost you — a lot.
If you think the cost of your furry new friend stops at the adoption or purchasing fee and grain free dog food, think again.
In addition to the usual shots at the veterinarian, heart worm medication, flea and tick prevention and additional procedures can cost a pretty penny.
Would you give up things like Christmas or this summer's vacation in order to pay for two very expensive surgeries to keep the dog healthy and happy?
Are you a forever home? That means sacrifice.
I recommends looking into pet insurance before you get a dog as it may help alleviate the cost of medical expenses later on.
5. Puppy training is tough stuff.
Everyone loves puppies, why wouldn't they?
They're adorable, impossibly small and they are ready to spend their entire lives with you. But it's important to remember that these tiny, furry friends are, after all, just babies. And that means requiring a lot more training and attention than an adult dog would.
Puppies are VERY needy for the first several months.
Whether it's chewing on the furniture or getting into the cookie jar on you r kitchen counter, count on your puppy to try it out.
6. They become a part of the family
Before you know it, you will wonder how you ever lived without that furball.
How you can love something so much that will pee in your house, chew up your shoes, eat the food off your plate when you're not looking, dig up your yard and jump on you when you're dressed to go out and get muddy footprints on your new suite?
They really are like your children.