There are numerous reasons why dogs are considered man’s (and woman’s) best friend. They’re loyal, great at vacuuming up crumbs that fall on the ground, and they’re always happy to see you when you get home. Owning a dog, though, is a true commitment and should not be taken lightly. So, before you bring home a new furry family member, here are 5 things you need to know:
A Dog Could Be Good for Your Health
Dogs, especially young ones, thrive when they get plenty of exercise. So, if you get a dog, you can probably expect to take your canine on at least one long walk a day. The plus side is that this could help you lose or maintain your weight, while also pumping up your energy levels. Even better? Studies have also shown that owning a dog can actually decrease your blood pressure, reduce your stress levels, and ease loneliness.
The First One to Two Years Could Be Trying
It’s a good thing puppies are adorable and so darn lovable, because they can be a lot of work. Just like with a human baby, you can expect to lose some sleep each night while house training a puppy. Plus, most young dogs go through a "devil" phase, where they’re likely to destroy shoes, dig up some plants, or gnaw on your furniture. Fortunately, most dogs get over this phase sometime between their first and second birthday.
Veterinarian Bills Can Be Expensive
Today’s pups are fortunate to have access to the best of medical care, including treatments that once were only available for humans. For example, chemotherapy and radiation are two treatments that are now available for dogs with cancer. The bad news is that many of these treatments can be expensive. Fortunately, pet insurance can help defray much of those costs. And if pet insurance doesn’t make sense for your dog, you could always set aside money in a fund each month for your dog’s vet bills.
Different Breeds have Different Traits
Before you adopt or purchase a dog, make sure you understand the different traits of that pup’s breed. For example, Dalmatians were bred to run behind carriages. So, they typically require a lot of exercise. Beagles were used for hunting, so they love to sniff around on walks and also have a loud bark, which is great for alerting their owners when they’ve found a rabbit. Not so great when you live in an apartment with thin walls.
A Dog Is a Forever Friend
Dogs are famous for their loyalty and loving nature. So, if you decide that you want to add a canine to your family, be prepared to keep them forever. That means evaluating your life carefully before bringing one home to make sure that you have the time to take care of a canine. Unlike a toy or gadget that you no longer want, a dog is a living, breathing, love-filled creature that can’t and should never be just tossed aside.