4 Signs You’re Ready To Become A Dog Parent
How can you know if you’re ready to become a dog parent? Do you love the idea of having a loyal companion who’ll cuddle up beside you whenever you want? How about one who’ll walk beside you obediently across the park? Of course, us first-time dog moms DREAM of this! But how do you know if you’re truly ready? Well, I knew when I was able to answer these 4 questions.
When you’re preparing for a puppy, no one gives you a heads up about the sleepless nights, your favorite shoes being destroyed or the pee puddles you’re going to step in with your socks. Well, I’m here to tell prepare you, friends.
Keep reading to see if you’re ready to be a dog mom!
As A Future Dog Parent, Can You Answer These 4 Questions?
In looking back on Henry’s puppy days, I thought about our process and put together the list of daily conversations we had before getting serious about becoming dog parents. It basically came down to these four questions:
Have You Factored in Your Lifestyle and Schedule?
Have You Considered the Additional Expenses?
Have you been thinking about becoming a dog parent a lot?
Getting a dog is not an impulse buy, it’s a commitment. A commitment for life—well, the dog’s life.
Owning and taking care of a pet is a big responsibility (both timewise and financially). In our case, Juan and I each had dogs in our families for the majority of our lives. Our friends have dogs, our other family members have dogs; basically, we’ve always been surrounded by dogs. Our families trusted us to babysit their dogs when they’d go out of town. Becoming dog parents was just something we were definitely going to do together.
We talked about it every single day for at least 3 years; it’s something we got excited for, as a couple.
Have you done your research on the dog breed?
Starting your research on the best kind of dog for you is already a great sign you’re ready to become a dog parent. It’s important to choose a breed (if you’re going that route) not only based on personal preference, but on your lifestyle as well. If you’re starting your research, this blog post will help you ask the breeder the right questions.
A breed like a Cavalier was great for us; they’re lap dogs that adapt to their humans’ pace of activities. We knew Henry would be great for apartment life. He sleeps while we’re busy working, and he hangs out on the couch with us if we’re watching TV. I don’t recommend a Cavalier, however, if you have allergies (they shed a lot!) It would probably be best to search for hypoallergenic breeds.
Make sure you consider the breed’s temperament and needs; you want them to match up with your lifestyle.
Have you factored in your lifestyle & schedule?
Let’s face it, a puppy will change your life. Are you ready to become a dog parent, knowing your schedule and lifestyle?
Making sure your schedule allows for time to spend with your new puppy is a great sign you’re ready to become a dog parent. In our case, we adapted our work schedules and we made sure we’d be home more during those crucial first few months. Your new dog will require a lot of your attention at that time.
Creating a schedule and diviging the tasks among the members of your family is a great place to start! You should also consider who would take care of the puppy, if ever you’re unable to. One thing is for sure, we would not have adopted a puppy if we were both working in an office all day, we truly believe that’s unfair to a small pup.
Have you considered the additional expenses involved in becoming a dog parent?
Will you still want to be a dog parent when you know the costs involved? Yes, there’s the cost of the actual dog, but there are a bunch of added expenses that we don’t always think about during the initial excitement.
Of course, there is pet insurance, (which I highly recommend by the way, you can read why here), but it doesn’t cover things like vaccines, routine vet visits or the surgery for spaying/neutering your dog when the time comes, for instance.
When we were preparing to bring Henry home, we made a whole checklist of all the puppy essentials. This blog post goes through them in detail. I also recommend reading this blog post by Tori Mistick that was published in the Wall Street Journal. As an experenced dog mom for over 20 years, Tori details all the costs involved in owning a dog, and how to save on certain recurring expenses!
Other expenses to consider can be things like puppy school, clothes, leashes, collars and other accessories as your puppy grows. My advice: wait a few months before investing in the nice expensive accessories. Your fur baby will grow out of stuff before you know it!
In looking back at Henry’s Instagram Posts and Story Highlights and reminiscing on the puppy days, I realize how quickly they flew by. And, like most dog parents I’m sure, I wish I would’ve taken even more pictures and videos of him. It wasn’t always easy, but thankfully Juan and I are a great team. We shared all the responsibilities, which made things so much easier.
Having friends and a community to go to for questions and tips is amazing as well. We’re thrilled to still be in touch with our breeder, who is always so helpful and kind. Would we ever consider getting another puppy? You’ll just have to wait and see!
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