Becoming a pet owner is one of life’s greatest joys. They’re more than just a fluffy face to kiss and pet; owning a pet can actually improve your mental and physical health. This is particularly true for dog owners (they don’t call them man’s best friend for nothing). However, welcoming a pet into your home comes with some serious responsibilities. Caring for them requires a lot of time, money and commitment to cleaning. It can be easy to give in the moment you see those sweet, puppy dog eyes, so before you visit your local shelter ask yourself these five important questions.
1. Can you afford a dog?
Adopting or rescuing a dog from a shelter instead of buying a purebred from a breeder is the most cost-effective and rewarding way to welcome a new pet into your home. However, before saying yes to a new fluffy friend, it’s a good idea to rework your household budget to make sure you can accommodate a dog’s food and health needs. Vaccinations, training, council registrations, toys, collar and lead, and wet and dry food are just some things you’ll need to cover. According to the Australian Veterinary Association, over the average lifespan of a dog, pet owners spend more than $25,000 maintaining their health, diet and other needs - so it’s vital you’re confident you have the funds available to care for a dog, even if your financial situation were to change.
2. Do you have time for a dog?
One of the great things about owning a dog is a lot of their needs can easily be incorporated into your own routine. For example, their daily walk quota can easily be filled by taking them with you on your morning jog. Or sitting down for family dinner now includes feeding the dog their evening meal as well. However, an essential part of pet ownership is being able to meet your pet’s needs consistently. If you’re someone who works long hours, prefers an inactive lifestyle or travels a lot then maybe owning a dog isn’t for you. There are lots of other low-maintenance pets available for adoption, it’s all about finding the right one that fits your lifestyle and availability.
3. Is your home suitable for a dog?
How much space a dog needs will largely depend on their breed. For example, high-energy dog breeds like kelpies will need a spacious backyard to run around and burn off energy, whereas ‘toy’ breeds like a maltese could thrive in an apartment setting. Keeping a dog in an environment not suitable for their needs could lead to behavioural problems such as digging, excessive barking or chewing furniture, so take some time to think about what kind of dog would best suit your living situation
4. Are you ready to commit long-term?
Did you know that dogs can live up to 20 years? When you’re looking to adopt a cute and playful puppy, it can be hard to visualise them in your life over the next two decades, so it’s important to reflect and ask yourself if you’re really ready to commit to this responsibility long term. A dog’s needs will change as they move through each stage of their life. For example, puppy’s require time dedicated to training and socialization, middle aged dogs require daily walks and play, and older dogs will require significant veterinary care.
5. Do you have everything you need?
If you’ve decided you have the time and the right home to adopt a dog, then the final step is to make sure you have everything you need for the new arrival. Feeling overwhelmed? The BISSELL Pet Pack is perfect for new puppy parents. A good quality bed, a sturdy food bowl and a variety of toys is a good place to start, but there are some other essentials that are often overlooked. Adopting a dog means having to deal with new household messes like loose hair on the carpet and watching out for muddy paw prints. It’s a good idea to invest in a good-quality dog bath like the BISSELL BarkBath. Having the right set up to clean your dog at home, as well the right shampoo, will also help save you time and money going to a professional dog groomer. Keeping their nails trimmed will prevent them from becoming overgrown and potentially damaging your carpets and floors. The BISSELL nail clippers are perfect for creating well manicured paws every time.
Adopting a dog is a wonderful way to bring joy into your life and give an animal in need a safe and loving home. For more tips on how to care for your dog while keeping your home clean, subscribe to our blog today!