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Do You Have Time for a Dog?

Dogs, as we know, are wonderful additions to any household. They become lifelong friends and companions. A dog is loyal and supportive. They offer us comfort and love and can have a significant benefit on our mental health. Owning a dog can get you out of the house, encourage you to exercise and give you a brilliant way to meet new people. If you have children, a family dog can help to teach them responsibility and aid their emotional and social development. There are so many advantages to welcoming a dog into your home.

But, there’s often one big thing that puts people off. Time. You’ll have seen posters along the lines of “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas”. You might have heard warnings that dogs need lots of time and attention, or that it isn’t fair to buy a dog if you work full-time and are out of the home a lot. You might even know people that have given up their much-loved dog because they didn’t have time to care for them. 

It’s all true, of course. Dogs do need your time and attention. But, it’s perhaps not as difficult as you might imagine to give it. Here are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself if you are wondering if you’ve got the time to care for a dog. 

Do You Work Away from Home?

Working full-time doesn’t have to be an obstacle to getting a dog. But, working away from home might. Do you spend time out of the country, or away on business trips regularly? Is there someone at home while you are away? Or, could you sometimes take your dog with you?

Shift work can also be a problem, especially if you live alone. Your dog needs a routine. You can bend routines to suit both your dog and your lifestyle, but shift work can make forming any kind of regular routine difficult. 

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Can You Get Help?

Remember, you aren’t the only person that will be involved in your dog’s life. Could older children walk them when they get home from school before you get in from work? Could your partner help out at weekends? If you travel, could parents or friends help out? Could you use a doggy day care facility? Or, do you have anyone that could help out in an emergency? Personally, you might not have the time, but as a family, you just might. Just make sure you know who is willing to help, before bringing any potential pet home. 

Do You Live Alone?

A dog can be a fantastic idea if you live alone. It can mean that you’ve always got company and that there is always someone happy to see you when you get in from work. But, living alone does mean that you need to consider your circumstances more carefully when thinking about whether or not you have time for a dog. It could also mean that you should also consider which breed of dog you get very seriously. 

When you live alone you have to care for your dog without much help if any. Getting a bread that will be happy when you are not home is important. If you live in an apartment you may also want a breed that is not extremely active.

Are You Willing to Commit Time to a Dog?

Often, it’s not how much free time we’ve got that determines whether or not we can care for a dog. But how much time we are willing to commit to them. You might have plenty of free time. But, do you want to spend it walking a dog, grooming and bathing them? Do you want to spend your day off taking your dog to the vet? Do you want to commit time to give them love and attention?

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Do You Understand a Dog’s Needs?

Take the time to learn about dogs before getting one. Look at different breeds and their specific needs. You won’t know if you’ve got time for a dog until you know what any dog that you might get needs from you. 

Are You Prepared?

If you have decided that you have got time for a dog, preparing can make the transition much easier, helping you to adjust to a new routine quickly. Take some time to go shopping for what your dog needs, and to make some changes to your home to keep them safe and happy. 

Would You Love a Dog?

We’re not all animal people. We don’t all love dogs. If you don’t love them, you won’t give up your free time for them, and you’ll never truly make them a part of your family. Try to spend some time around dogs, to see if you would really love one before you commit.

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