Am I Ready For A Dog?

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Girl and puppyIf you didn’t grow up with a dog, you might not know much about them  — how much care they truly need. We encourage you to do your research, which it looks like you are since you came across this article. It’s important to educate yourself on pet ownership so you can make your life and your dog’s life better. So, are you ready for a dog? Find out what to consider before you jump in.

Can I Afford A Dog?

There are many costs associated with getting a dog. Some of these costs are for one-time purchases (or less frequent) while some are for monthly (or more regular) items. Below is a list of items you’ll need to be prepared to buy if you are considering getting a dog. We also included the price (at time of writing) for our #1 pick, if we’ve reviewed the product. Keep in mind that all of these items are not required, but are commonly purchased by pet parents.

If you do the math, all of the items listed above with prices next to them totals about $600. That’s a scary number but remember, very few are monthly fees, and not all of these are “mandatory” purchases. We suggest that you save up some money so you are prepared for these type of costs as well as a little extra for any emergencies (which can cost $90-$120 for the emergency visit alone), although we hope you won’t have any. Better safe than sorry! Visit our cost of owning a dog article for a detailed look at what you can expect to spend.

Do I Have Time For A Dog?

There are two elements to consider when we discuss the time you have for a dog.

Day-to-Day Requirements

The first consideration is the needs a pup will have day-to-day. Dogs need walks, training, play time, exercise and human interaction. The amounts of time these activities take may vary depending on the energy level of the dog. It’s not fair to keep your dog in a crate or small cage all day every day. We understand that you may need to crate your dog while you’re at work, but at the end of the day, they need to be able to stretch their legs and experience new environments. If you find yourself away from home the majority of your days, we recommend you wait until your schedule is less busy. Yes, you could hire a dog walker/sitter, but you’re missing out on the experience of being a pet parent and that could get expensive fast.

Lifetime Requirements

The second time factor of time to consider is if you have years to commit to an animal. When getting a dog, you’re faced with the commitment to be there for him for the rest of his life. This isn’t a new workout program or diet, where you try it out for a week or two but then give up. Getting a dog is a serious, long-term obligation. This dog will be your companion for the next 10+ years, depending on its breed, health and age.

Is Everyone On Board?

The last thing to consider, and quite possibly the most important element to consider, is if everyone in your household is on board with getting a dog. Perhaps your child came up to you and said, “I want a puppy.” It’s important not to act on your child’s wants immediately. Talk it over with other members of the family. The last thing you want is someone in your family not being supportive of adding a new member to your family. Roommates also get a say in adding a new tenant to the home. No matter your living situation, be sure to discuss the topics we’ve laid out above with your household to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Am I Ready For A Puppy Infographic

Here’s a handy checklist we put together to reference before getting a dog. If you check all these boxes then congrats you are ready for a dog!

Am I Ready for a Dog checklist


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It’s Time To Get A Dog

If you need that extra push to take the plunge, this video displays how a person who wants a dog might act. (Okay, you don’t have to be this expressive, but deep down inside, you may relate to this video.)

What made you want to get a dog?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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Kit Hannigan

I’m, glad that you pointed out how people should consider if they have years to commit to an animal if their thinking of getting a puppy, All but my youngest son has moved out of the house, and we’re currently considering getting a poodle before the year ends. Me and my wife have a lot of spare time on our hands so I would think that we’re fit to adopt a poodle puppy or two soon.


Wahoo!!! I got 6 out of 7 on the list! Only thing missing is the extra space but maybe we’ll get a small dog first which is more manageable given or situation, new year new dog for our family…