Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Family Dog

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

Who doesn’t love the idea of having a loyal pooch to come home to, to snuggle up to, and to go exploring with? However, even if you are very much a dog person, there are realities about owning a dog that you can have to get face-to-face with before you make the step to welcome them to your home. Here are a few of those realities and what they can mean for your dog-owning dreams.

Do you have the money for them?

If you’re looking to keep your finances in check, then do not underestimate just how much it can cost to offer a dog a home. Even if you’re adopting them, you’re still going to have to pay for any paperwork they come with, their vaccinations, microchipping, and more. Beyond that, consider the costs of feeding them, housing them, giving them bowls, toys, leads, and all the other supplies that come with them. Then, add to that how much you’re likely to pay on routine health care and feeding them. Fit your dog into your budget before you try to fit them into your life.

Is my lifestyle right for them?

There are many different breeds of dogs, many of which are suited to different lifestyles. If, for instance, you live a quiet life in an apartment and spend a lot of time at home, then adaptable and sensitive dogs like a Bichon Frise might be the right choice for you. If you have a happy, busy family home and you have children or other pets, then dogs that are extremely friendly like the chocolate labs at might be a better fit. Get to know the temperament of the breed you’re welcoming home, whether they bond with the family or just one person, whether they adapt to smaller spaces or need a lot of room, and choose one whose lifestyle fits your own.

Is everyone willing to pitch in?

Just like they have different behaviors and personalities, different dogs also have different needs. For instance, some have tons of energy and desire to play, so they need owners who will spend a lot of time walking them and playing with them. Others have sensitive skin and shedding coats, so they require a lot of grooming and clean-up. If the whole family wants a dog, then the whole family should be responsible for taking care of them. This can be made a lot easier by putting together a schedule as seen at and making sure that everyone who can does their part to ensure the dog has a happy, healthy life.

What will your life be like six years from now?

We can’t see the future or know what will be coming in the next six months, nevermind the next six years. However, we can have a guess as to whether we plan to be living in the same home with the same family, or whether we’re going to move or try for more babies in the future. You need to think about where the dog will fit into that plan. A big dog that needs a lot of space like a Labrador Springer would not do well with moving to an apartment. Similarly, if you plan on having more children, then consider dog breeds that are good with babies.

How much of your home life are you willing to give up for your dog?

Owning a dog is a compromise. You’re agreeing to share a home with an animal who isn’t going to immediately know how to behave to human standards. This is especially true if you’re getting a puppy. You should anticipate the occasional bathroom accident until they are house trained. However, you should also anticipate that they will chew and claw at whatever they can until you can train them out of it with tips from If you’re very house proud and you can’t tolerate mess or abide a little damage, then taking in a new puppy might not be right for you.

If you’re not certain about the answers to the above questions, then you should probably wait on getting a dog. Every dog deserves love, care, and attention, and you shouldn’t put them at risk of being deprived of that simply because you want one. In time, anyone can make sure a dog has a healthy and reliable home, but taking that time is what’s important.

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