6 things you should know before getting a dog

Looking to add a four-legged friend to your family? Pet ownership is not as simple as it might seem. In this episode of ITK: Things You Should Know, our host Eli Rallo (@eli.rallo) tells us six things everyone should know before adopting a dog, from estimated costs to gear you’ll need and lifestyle adjustments you might need to make.

“Adopting a dog can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences,” Eli says. “And with these tips in hand, you’re primed for success.”

Dog adoption tip 1: Know why you want to adopt.

“A dog is not a fashion accessory, a security hack or a relationship booster,” Eli says, “although it might offer one or all of those benefits. What’s most important is making sure you understand exactly what the dog you’re adopting will need, that it’s the right time for you to provide for it and that you have the resources to give it the best life possible.”

Dog adoption tip 2: Consider your circumstances.

“Does a dog truly fit into your life, both time-wise and money-wise?” Eli encourages us to consider. “Dogs can’t and shouldn’t stay home alone all day. At the very least, they’ll need a walk around midday to relieve themselves. It’s also important to consider that most dogs simply don’t like being left alone for long periods.”

Additionally, Eli recommends considering the expense of owning a dog. She says, “The costs associated can vary wildly by breed, depending on food, healthcare and insurance needs. So do your homework.”

Dog adoption tip 3: Look at your situation and environment.

Eli says that there are several questions you need answers to before bringing home a new dog, including: Do you have access to wide, open spaces for the dog to get plenty of exercise? If you’re using public parks, can your breed of dog handle being off-leash without becoming distracted? Does your apartment allow dogs?

Dog adoption tip 4: Make sure you are committed.

“A dog is not a part-time commitment,” Eli says. “It’s every day, and it can be a commitment that will last for up to fifteen years.”

Dog adoption tip 5: Get a support system in place.

“There are still times when you’re going to need help, so it’s important to have a support system in place before you need it. Pet sitters, dog walkers and a vet are just the base support you’ll need to have ready,” Eli advises.

Dog adoption tip 6: Be prepared.

While many rescues will give you a care package when you bring home your new pet, Eli says it’s important to make sure you have everything you need for your dog ahead of time. “Leash, bed, bowls, food, flea and tick medication, brushes, shampoos and toys are just the beginning. The costs can add up.”

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