You are considering getting a dog. Why? If you have recently made one of these statements, you need to reconsider.
1. You’re always really busy with work, friends, dating or you just don’t have much time at home
Puppies need time. Lots of it. They need to bond with their new owners – that means you. It is not fair to just bring a puppy home, play with her for a weekend, and then leave her alone while you go to work. You’re asking for trouble. Puppies don’t train themselves. Your puppy is going to need lots of play time, true. But she’s going to need a lot of other things too. It takes lots of time to learn how to behave in the house. As a puppy you can expect destructive behavior and housebreaking problems. Housebreaking is a time consuming thing. Even if you are with your puppy most of the time, she will have accidents. It takes a while for a puppy to understand the concept. Exercise is important for your dog. Taking her to the dog park and on walks takes time. Not to mention the training you will need to do with her, such as some basic obedience training. If you don’t spend the time with your puppy doing these things when she’s young you can expect to have a dog with serious behavioral problems when she’s older. Your puppy also needs a lot of time for socialization. If you don’t have time to spend with a puppy so she can learn all of the things she needs to learn, you should wait until you are at a different point in your life when you are ready to make the necessary commitment.
2. You live on a really tight budget and you can barely pay your bills every month
Dogs cost money. Even if you adopt a dog or you’re given a dog by a friend, dogs require continual care and no one is giving away dog food and veterinary care. Good quality dog food is not cheap. For small breeds you may not notice the drain on your pocketbook, but if you have a large breed of dog then dog food can be a major expense. A 30 pound bag of quality dog food can run over $50. Routine veterinary care can be quite costly. There are annual shots, heartworm testing, heartworm prevention, and flea prevention to start. If your dog has any allergies or other ongoing problems then costs can quickly become prohibitive. Emergency care can become a credit card crisis. There can also be grooming costs if you have a breed that requires professional grooming. Even if you do your dog’s grooming yourself you will need to buy the necessary tools. Then there are the miscellaneous expenses such as dog toys, treats and other things that you often pick up for dogs. If you cannot realistically afford these expenses right now it’s a good idea to put off your plans for a dog until you are in a better financial position.