3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Dog

In honor of Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog month AND Sheba’s 8th birthday over the weekend (happy birthday, Sheebs!), I thought I’d discuss an important topic in dog ownership. The should I or shouldn’t I get one debate. Having a dog in your life offers SO many great benefits (like these) and is also pretty life-changing!

But there’s so much more that goes into dog ownership than most people realize. Here are the 3 most important questions to ask yourself before getting a dog.

3 questions to ask yourself before getting a dog

1. Am I Financially Prepared to Own a Dog?

Owning a dog is EXPENSIVE. It’s easy to adopt one on a whim, but what happens after day one when you bring home a bag of food, treats, and a few toys? Well, frankly, a lot.

First, there’s the basic stuff. Which is essentially continued maintenance of those “day one” things like food, treats, and toys. Next is the standard medicine. You’ll need some kind of heart worm preventive as well as medicine or a collar to fight off common pests like ticks and fleas. And last, those lovely vet visits. Typically, these happen twice a year, but usually one visit will burn quite the hole in your pocket for things like annual vaccines and blood work.

2. Is My Lifestyle Conducive for a Dog?

If you’re feeling good about bringing a dog into your family with your financial situation, it’s time to evaluate your lifestyle. Dogs are one of the “needier” types of pets you can have. By this I mean they need to be let out (ideally walked) twice a day at a minimum and need you there to take care of them.

When you have a dog you have to plan your day(s) around them. For example, if you leave early in the morning, you have to make sure you’ll be back in time

3.Do I Have Enough Space for a Dog?

This question mostly rides on the size of the dog you’re looking to get, but nonetheless applies across the board. Obviously the bigger the dog, the more space you’ll need. Do you have a space in your home. you can dedicate to them for their crate or bed? A yard for them to run in? Will you (and anyone else that lives in your home) be able to live comfortably with a furry addition? All important things to think about!

Do you have a dog? What other things did you consider before making your decision to adopt one?

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  • Monica L

    #2 & #3 are why I don’t currently have a dog. My apartment is not that big (even though bigger than average Chicago place) and I don’t have the time to make sure it gets quality outside time!

  • Yup! Reasons why I have a cat. Definitely not ready for a dog yet. :)

  • So true! I’ve had my dog since I was 18-and I’m always preaching to others that are considering getting a pet. Not that it’s not amazing, but it’s like being a parent. It’s a full-time job and commitment your making for the next 5-15 years! When people are like, lets be spontaneous and go here or there, I’m like-let me see if my pet sitter is available lol…

  • Such good questions to ask before you adopt a dog! We have 2 – a huge german shepherd and a 50 lb shepherd mix – and while they are huge couch potatoes, they definitely need our yard to run in! And their vet bills and food are definitely not cheap. Thankfully we can do it, but I couldn’t imagine doing it a few years ago or while I was in an apartment!

  • Karoline J.

    This is so helpful! I love dogs so much, but I am way not in the position to get one due all my travels and moving into new countries. I already felt bad in leaving my Bunny behind in Germany! Great post :)

  • And the 3 no’s I get at these questions it the main reason why I don’t have a dog (yet). My main concern is that I don’t have enough time to spend with him and properly take care of him and it kills me because I absolutely adore doggos.

    Cristina | *janded

  • This is so helpful! I’m giving myself a year to save up money with my new job and then getting a dog! I definitely want one at some point, I hate coming home to a silent apartment!

    Tori
    http://www.mooretori.com

  • The top three questions for sure! I’m a dog person and have wanted dogs since we got out of our apartment, but we’re too busy right now. We don’t travel a lot, but dogs are so much more high-maintenance than our cat!

  • Our pup is turning four tomorrow (can’t believe it!) and these are the questions I ask people all the time when they say that they want a dog of their own. We got our dog as a puppy and as much as I love him, I never want to go through that again!

  • These are great questions to think about before adopting a dog. Too many people get one and have regrets because they didn’t anticipate things like the cost of vet visits and the time it takes to care for a pet. Love that you are sharing this!

  • Katherine

    These are such important questions that I keep coming back to every time I get the “dog-itch”! But I consistently answer number 1 and 2 with “nope, not yet”. Haha we’ve even recently discussed putting in a pool in our backyard which would limit the space for a dog, and that’s another issue to consider! I know one day we’ll be ready, just not right now. I think more people need to read this before making the jump into dog parenthood. :)

  • Bibi Camilo

    These are incredible VALID questions to ask. My fiance and I wanted to get a dog and we had to think long and hard about it. Our jobs don’t give us enough time to give him all the attention he deserves, and not to mention we live in the city. We wanted a Husky and we would love to have enough running and free space for him. Once we’re ready, we’ll get our dog, but for now we’re taking endless trips to the shelter lol.

  • Thank you for raising these important questions! I have wanted a dog for years but haven’t been able to commit. Namely #2 #3. I have a Beijing rescue cat who has been with me since 2009 and followed me with 4 international relocations.

    Quarantine laws are also tighter with dogs – if you bring them into Australia, it needs a proxy country (singapore) so you’ll really only see your pet nearly a year later! Not withstanding the costs. Relocating with pets is costly and one should be committed for life. ❤️

  • Miss ALK

    What important questions!! I would love to get a pet right now since I live alone and have dealt with some loneliness since moving out of state for my job, but I know that I have some hefty school payments that I need to finish before taking on a financial investment like an animal. That’s something that a lot of people don’t think of!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • yess! the lifestyle thing is so key! I was just talking with my husband about how lucky we are that I can be home with Tucker all day because i couldn’t imagine him being locked up alone all day

  • mckenna bleu

    Omg such a cute pup! I had to wait until I knew I had the lifestyle to commit to a dog.

  • We got a puppy back in February — and he changed our world! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love him! But our habits are so different now that he is here. But how can you not like their sweet little faces?

  • The points we discussed the most was the expenses and our lifestyle! Planning your day around them is so true haha.

  • Tami

    Great post and these are some great questions to ask! My husband and I just got a Boxer puppy and I had no idea they were full of SO much energy, haha! He’s super adorable, but he can be a handful. Luckily I work from home, so he’s always taken care of, though. :)

  • Casey

    Great points! I would love a dog but I just don’t have time to take care of one right now!

  • YES!!! I wish people would realize that dogs are a LOT of work. The holidays are a time when dogs are gifted all the time and later dumped or abandoned because of how much work they are. I love my pup and couldn’t see life without him.
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  • Amy

    So important! My bf and I are wanting a do so bad, but because of our living situation and schedules it’s just not practical right now!

  • These are such great tips! I don’t have a furry friend mostly because I am on my own and don’t have someone I can rely on to help split the “parenting” duties!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

  • I have definitely asked these questions to myself and even though I really want a puppy I know I am not ready for it yet!

  • Karoline J.

    Yeees I wish I could get a pup now but It is really not the right moment for me since I am traveling a lot and switching countries :(

  • Allison Ellzey

    YES! When my husband and I first got a dog (when we were still babies in college) we had NO IDEA what we were getting into. I wouldn’t change it for the world now though!

  • Oh my goodness, that first picture is adorable!

    We have contemplated getting a dog many times, but since we travel so often and move countries every few years, it’s just not the right time for us. When we eventually move back to the States, we plan to foster dogs for awhile before deciding if its time to get one of our own. Test the waters a little, I guess. :)

  • Happy birthday Sheba! What a cutie!

    I lovelovelove these questions! I don’t have a dog, but I have cats, and they’re expensive as well. Especially those vet visits. One of my cats was sick recently and it took awhile to figure out what it was. Those tests add up. They’re totally worth it, of course, but ya need to make sure your lifestyle is conducive to your pets and you’ll be able to care for them.

  • Considering the financial impact of having a dog is SO important! Especially thinking about medical bills if something unexpected were to happen. Dogs get into a lot of different things and sometimes that requires an unexpected trip to the vet! My family just got our first dog a year and a half ago and we wouldn’t trade her for anything!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com