1. Getting a dog, especially a puppy, should be seen as a 15-year commitment. Dogs are living even longer now and if you’re considering an older dog, subtract its current age from 15 years. The sum is the minimum you should expect to have that dog for.
2. What season of life are you in? Are you single and hope to be married with kids someday? Do you have a stable career or are you frequently moving? The season and style of life you have now may not be the same in 1, 3, 5, 10+ years. Will you accommodate your dog’s needs regardless of a new lifestyle? Can you take your dog with you if you move homes, have a new job or have a new significant other who is allergic?
3. Are you financially prepared to pay for professional training if the dog you choose proves to be too difficult for you to self-train?
4. Would you be able to afford the food, vet bills, shots, preventative medicine and equipment such as leashes, collars, toys etc now and for the next 15 years? Research the cost of dog food for the average dog of the breed you desire and call vets to get a quote on annual average costs. Will an additional monthly bill of $40-$80 ($480 – $960 annually) hurt the bank or prevent you from maintaining your current lifestyle?
5. Are you recently single? Are you considering getting a dog to fill the emptiness that the absence of someone else has left? Wait a couple of months from the date of break up. Rushing into a 15-year commitment after the termination of a romantic relationship does not necessarily fix the issue of loneliness. Having a brand new puppy that needs to pee and poop every two hours and bites on you will add more stress to your life, not reduce it. (PS Getting a dog won’t fix a relationship, better to get a plant).
6. Research, research, RESEARCH! Educate your self on what a new puppy or adult dog needs. Research trainers, breeds, cons of a breed, subscribe to educational newsletters like mine. You can check it out by going to www.xenaspack.com. Saying no to free information would just be silly! I’m going to send you guides, checklist, dog memes and best of all, little tips and tricks to make your life with dogs better!