Watching a puppy video and not wishing it was yours seldom happens. Many psychological studies and research have revealed that the same hormone, oxytocin, spikes in both the body of the dog and their owner when they gaze at each other. So, it’s easy to understand why our body suddenly fills up with happiness and an urge to take them home when we spot a pupper. But, getting a puppy shouldn’t be a casual decision. Sure, many others must have worked out pretty well. But this particular one is a decision you need to think very carefully about. Why is it so important? Read on for some reality checks.
If you’re thinking about getting a dog home, there are certain signs which will make you more aware of how ready you really are to take this step. For instance, if you can only vision happy moments with a dog when you bring them home then you need to take some more time before making this decision. Because having a dog isn’t roses and sunshine all the time! The first step to understanding this is to realise that they will become a part of your family and live with you for several years. It is a lifetime commitment that you need to think thoroughly about. You will technically be growing up together and will share highs and lows. Which is why you need to ask yourself if you are ready to maintain this relationship that you’re getting into.
So, if you are sure about the commitment part and are ready for a ’till death do us apart’ step, that isn’t the only green light. There is a lot more to it! You need to realise that every dog is different, and so are their needs. Research or seek help from experts on which breed would be the most suitable for your lifestyle. This way you will be assured that the dog will have a good life at your home too. Often, large breeds are contained in tiny spaces, resulting in behavioural issues in the dogs. If you’re planning on bringing home a puppy, you need to remind yourself every day that they won’t look or be the same size always. They are going to grow bigger, depending on their breed. Once the research is done, you also need to prepare yourself mentally about all the effort required to keep your dog happy and healthy. Like walking the puppy thrice a day, would it be possible for you? If the puppy takes longer than expected to be potty trained, will you be patient and okay with it? Answer these questions honestly and you will know if you can provide a dog with their perfect home. If the answers are anything other than yes, you need to take a step back and rethink this.
A dog isn’t a soft toy to just play with! I cannot stress on this enough because I have seen people realise ‘after’ getting a dog home that they cannot keep up with their pet’s expenses. Just like humans need regular or emergency medical check-ups, dogs do too! You need to make sure you will be able to provide for your pet not just emotionally but also financially. They require special foods based on their nutrition, crates and beds, collars, and a lot more. Just because dogs cannot speak does not mean you don’t consider their comfort. If you really want a doggo, you need to make sure your pocket can handle it. If it doesn’t look doable at the moment, start saving up and wait it out for some months before you are finally able to bear it with ease.
No matter how much you try denying or running away from this, you will sooner or later understand that your lifestyle will also change with this new ‘furball’ in your life. You will have to tweak your routine a little to match your pet’s. If you get a puppy home, leaving them all by themselves for long durations isn’t a good idea. In their initial years, they require a lot of care, attention and affection. If you get a dog who is hyperactive, you will have to make sure they get to release their energy and tire out for a good night’s sleep. Or else it could turn into aggressive behaviour. You might have to walk them 5 times a day sometimes, clean up their mess for months till they are fully trained and maintain their health and hygiene. If you think it’s too much work, I’d suggest you look for other options of pets that require lesser effort.
If you think you can do all of the above, that’s amazing! But let’s not forget the power of the saying, ‘easier said than done’. The best way to make sure you don’t make the wrong decision is to take a trial, right? You can apply the same logic here. Try fostering dogs in need and observe how you feel about it. This will give you the most realistic insight about what you’re getting yourself into. You can look around in various shelters for the type of dog you’re planning to adopt, the shelters are overflowing with abandoned and lost dogs. You mostly will find what you’re looking for or maybe come back home with a surprise for yourself too!
So, to end this, if you or someone you know is thinking about bringing a dog home, things will change and you cannot escape it. But let me tell you a secret from my personal experience, it will be the best decision you ever made. Dogs are worth it all and will leave you with some of the most treasured memories.