Hearthside Happenings

What To Consider When Considering a Dog


Here are the considerations and benefits to owning a dog!
Posted: May 20, 2020 by Joe Carelli

Whose day isn’t made brighter by adding a furry companion into your home, ask any other pet owner and they can confirm! If you are able to own a pet while renting it often comes with extra costs, less space for the pet and you have to always consider what if you move. One of the numerous perks of owning a home is that you don’t answer to anybody but yourself (although if you get a dog, that would change!).

If you’ve been patiently waiting for the day you could own a pet, why not make the dream come true! There are so many loving dogs and cats waiting for a place to call home, we strongly recommend checking out one of the many fantastic shelters in the area and adopting.

While we do encourage owning a pet, there are a lot of factors to consider. If you are still unsure you can always foster, which means you watch over the dog from the shelter until they are adopted into their forever home (usually this means the shelter will cover the expenses of the dog while in your care).


Considerations:

Life/work schedule

If you are considering bringing a furry friend into your home be mindful of your schedule. Having a dog is a source of endless unconditional happiness, but they are also a lot of responsibility. With the world currently turned upside down due to the COVID-19 situation, it could be a great opportunity to bring a dog into your home, train and acclimate them to their new environment. You also need to consider what owning a dog looks like when you go back to work.

If you are someone who likes spontaneous trips, weekend getaways or works long-hours owning a dog might not be right for you. If you decide that having a dog is a responsibility you can handle once you’re back to a more normal routine, give your canine friend some space while at home in preparation. Leave the house a bit without the dog so they don’t get too attached to you being constantly around and alleviate any potential separation anxiety.

Costs

Be sure you can afford a dog, before getting one take some time to see what your budget allows. You need to consider the cost of toys, gear, food, medicine, grooming, veterinary costs, and any additional emergency costs that may arise. Make sure you have enough savings not only for yourself but for your canine friend just in case.

There are also some surprise costs like replacing chewed up shoes and couches, owning a dog means accidents happen and you’ll have to be patient as they learn.

Space

While this may seem like a shameless plug for real estate, dogs require space. While there are dogs that require less exercise and space, if you had your mindset on a husky then you may want to rethink that if you’re living in a smaller dwelling or apartment. Dogs like huskies need space to stretch their paws, exercise and rid themselves of excess energy.

Every Breed is Not the Same

Different breeds require different needs. Some are chatty, some have adamant opinions on things (aka they are stubborn), some might be content binging The Office all day long with you!

When choosing what kind of dog you want, consider your space, personality traits, how much they shed, and look into how difficult that breed typically can be to train. There are many resources to also allow you to understand what health complications you might expect during the course of your dog’s lifetime. Of course, your results may vary but it should at least help garner an understanding for the breed you’re looking to choose.

The internet is your friend, there are a number of guides and quizzes to help you determine the best hound for you.


Benefits:

Dogs Provide Happiness

There is no better friend than a canine, they love you unconditionally. The only real judgment they might have is you decide to sleep in later on a Saturday and aren’t giving them enough playtime (the excuse of having one too many won't fly with them). There’s research to suggest that dogs can even sense when you’re feeling upset and will help elevate your spirits. If you're feeling particularly sad, put away the second bowl of ice cream because there are even studies that indicate that just looking into your dog’s eyes raises your level of oxytocin or the “love hormone”.

Dogs are always finding ways to making us laugh particularly when putting their personality on display! Dogs truly are your best friend and know how to cheer you up in ways humans never can.

The Best Coach

New Year’s began as it so often does with a list of resolutions, while the resolution of traveling more sadly may go unfilled for now, you can cross off exercise more!

Even Rocky needed a coach, so consider your dog the Mickey Goldmill to your Rocky. There’s no better motivation to work-out than a furry coach demanding it. When you have a dog, you’ll find yourself going on a lot more walks and they also make incredible hiking or running companions.

Teaching Responsibility

Life is about learning lessons, learning to better yourself and dogs are there to help guide and shape us. Even as adults there is a lot we can learn and improve about ourselves just by being pet owners, this is especially true for children. If you have kids it’s a great way to give them a sense of responsibility, to learn what means to be selfless and care for another being.

Make New Friends

If you’re new to an area or have a hard time meeting people, dogs are the perfect ice breaker! If you are self-conscious about being seen with bed hair you might have to learn to make peace with that your dog doesn’t care. When strolling the block the more sociable of pups will make their way to every last person or dog they meet parading you around as if you were the turkey balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

When you have a dog you’ll meet new people on daily walks or visits to the dog park, it’s a great way to be social and maybe meet like-minded owners who can help step up to watch your canine friend if something pops up.

Health Benefits

In addition to making you happier and calming you down when stressed, there are studies that indicate owning a dog leads to a stronger immune system, recover quicker, have higher survival rates from heart attacks, keep children healthier and benefit both our physical and mental well-being.  


This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are thousands of reasons why getting a dog is a great idea. If you are able to provide and afford one, it’s a decision you won’t regret. If you follow our social media pages every Wednesday we feature what we call #WoofieWednesday and will often feature different dogs waiting for a home from shelters and rescue groups in our area.  

If you decided to open your family and home to a new dog we know that no matter if your dog has the intelligence of Wishbone or is the size of Clifford you are about to start a beautiful, new friendship that is both loyal and rewarding.

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