What You Should Research Before Getting a Dog


Getting a new dog is exciting; a new addition to the family, another buddy to take care of, and lots of cuddle time. However, this is also a serious decision. There are lots of factors that go into getting a dog. You have to be sure you can afford its food, bed, toys, kennel, pee pads, vet bills, etc.

Do you have enough space in your home to keep a dog comfortable and happy? Are you able to spend quality time with your dog, or will you be out of the house for the majority of the day, every day? Do you have anyone who could take care of your dog, or any place to leave it while you’re away on vacation?

Are you physically capable of taking care of a dog? Is your family in agreeance with your decision? The list goes on, but a lot of thought and research should go into your decision to buy a new pup. 

Once you’ve made the decision to get a dog, you then have to ask yourself what kind of dog you want. Do you want a specific purebred, or would any mix do? All breeds are different. Take the time to research different dog breeds and their characteristics. Look up their most common health problems, things to avoid when caring for them, and what they most enjoy.

For example, I have a mischievous dachshund named Nala. She was a free surprise, so we didn’t have the opportunity to research the breed until we got her. Once I did, I found out they are prone to herniated discs. It’s not only the way their bodies are structured, but also a gene they carry that creates mineral deposits within the discs in their spines.

Although there’s no guarantee that she’ll never have spinal issues, the least I can do is have step stools or small stairs she can use to climb onto couches and beds.

Other factors you should keep in mind when researching different dog breeds are training, the kind of food your dog will eat, how their bad behavior will be addressed, where they are and aren’t allowed in your home, any pet restrictions your city or county may have, and whether you’re able to sustain a happy and healthy life for your pet.

Training could be beneficial to your happiness and the happiness of your pet. When your pet is trained, the stress that results from misbehavior becomes almost nonexistent. You could leave your pet at home while you’re out without worrying about whether they’re going to tear up your sofa cushions.

This brings me to my next recommendation: discipline. Figure out the best method for disciplining your dog. Like I mentioned earlier, all breeds are different, and this includes the way they react to punishment.

Nala is an extremely stubborn dog, but she’s also a very anxious one; it’s a common trait in her breed. If she pees on the couch (which only really happens if she’s extremely excited) all I have to do is say her name in a stern voice and say “no” and she crawls right over to her bed to wallow in pity for a few minutes.  Anything beyond that makes her cry, which in turn breaks my heart. There’s a line between discipline and cruelty. Your dog is a child and they have feelings. Do enough so they understand that what they did was wrong and is not acceptable.

Next, find out whether your county forbids specific dog breeds. For example, in Miami Dade it’s illegal to own or keep American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and any other kind of dogs who fall under these categories. Don’t adopt or buy a dog at the risk of paying hefty fines, or possibly losing them.

Also, consider the kind of food and treats you’ll feed your pet. A puppy’s food is different from dog food for adults. Puppies usually eat soft foods, which are eventually mixed with solid food for a smooth transition to only solid food.

What are the ingredients in your dog’s food. What are the best brands for your specific breed? Like us, when dogs eat healthy, they feel and look good. Their coats stay nice and shiny and their bodies are toned. What you feed your dog could determine their happiness and the longevity of their life.

Finally, give them lots of love. Be sure to give them quality time and affection. Like any other relationship, some sort of communication must be consistently practiced. With dogs, we can communicate through our actions. Take your pup out for walks, snuggle with them on the couch or in bed, watch tv with them, buy them a new toy or special treat every once in a while, show them you love them. 

You know what they say: happy pet, happy life. #bullyfambam