9 Things to Know Before Getting a Dog

By PetMD

Have you been dreaming of getting a dog ever since you saw the reruns of the television classic Lassie as a kid? Or maybe you were fortunate enough to watch the original series. While your dog might not be able to save you week after week from a burning building, a runaway freight train, or the bottom of a well (and in the time it takes to finish a 30-minute episode, too!), owning a dog can be a wonderful experience.

Here are 10 things you should know and consider before choosing your canine friend.

1. Dogs Take Up a Lot of Time and Energy.

Yes, they are rewarding. But if you live alone and work twenty hours a day, then perhaps a dog is not the best choice for you. Hey, there are always those super-cool robot dogs!

See Also: 10 Tips for New Cat Owners

Image Credit: Garrett 222 Via Wikimedia Commons

2. Not Home a Lot? Invest in a Dog Walker.

If you are not often at home, and you really want a dog, you probably should invest in a dog walker. You’d probably be wise to choose a dog breed that isn’t especially needy, too. Check out PetMD‘s Breedopedia to select from a wide variety of breeds.

3. Dogs Need Enough Space.

Any dog you get should be suitable to not only your lifestyle, but your surroundings. If you live in a shoebox apartment,then a large dog is obviously not a good choice.You donít want your dog to develop health issues, be bored or destroy things. Large dogs really belong in big places with lots of outdoor space.

4. Climate Matters.

Consider which breeds are suitable or your region’s climate, especially if you have a yard and want to keep it as an outside dog.

5. Puppies are Cute, But a Lot of Work.

Puppies require the most work when it comes to house training. If you: (a) donít want your things chewed up, or (b) donít have the time or money to train the puppy, consider adopting an already housebroken, adult dog.

Also Check Out: 10 Fun Dog Facts (Slideshow)

6. Your Stuff Will Need Some Rearranging.

Make sure you have lots of chew toys available for your puppy and keep all expensive things (like shoes and clothes) out of its reach; the same goes for chemicals and medicines. Puppies like to investigate and try everything, so make sure there is nothing dangerous around for them to sample.

7. The Vet is Your Friend.

Get your dog vaccinated and spayed or neutered as soon as possible. Oh, and take your dog to the vet for its routine checkups. Your dog will thank you for it and live a much better (and longer) life.

Image Credit: Sunsets_for_you via Flickr

8. Buy an Appropriate Leash

8. Get a proper leash and harness for your dog. A leash too small or too large may hurt it inadvertently during its walking routine, or, worse yet, allow it to hurt others or get loose and run away.

9. Have Fun!

Regardless of the dog breed you choose, have fun! They say there is no better friend than a dog. We have to agree.

Image Credit: JSF306 Via Flickr

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10 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Dog originally appeared on petMD.com


Dale Overall

Yes, certainly those who want a dog and leave the dog outside all the time to bark for hours on end and yearn for inclusion in its pack residing indoors should never have a dog. Dogs are social animals and should be included in ones life. Otherwise get a pet rock.

Darla G.
Darla G5 years ago

I don't agree that large dogs need lots of space....you can have a large dog in an apartment as easily as you have a small dog IF you commit to regular exercise, whether it be daily walks or taking him/her to a dog park.

Yes, dogs are a lot of work but they are SO worth it as long as you're willing to commit to a dog for his/her entire life. Personally, I don't ever want a puppy b/c I don't have the time, the patience, or the knowledge to train a dog. Since most people want puppies, there are always lots of adult dogs in shelters or rescues and adult dogs make GREAT pets.

John S.
Past Member 5 years ago

I would add that you will need to train them twice, first when they are puppies and then a year later when they become a teenager.

Mary Monell
mary ,monell5 years ago

The only thing I would like to ask is please try & rescue a dog rather than buying one from a breeder. There are so many great dogs out there that deserve a loving home.

Roopak Vaidya
Roopak Vaidya5 years ago

Tubectomy (Tubal ligation):

Aimee A.
Aimee A5 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Despina V.
Despina Vekris5 years ago


Roopak Vaidya
Roopak Vaidya5 years ago

Please don't spay or neuter, it's cruel.
Animals have rights (or should have rights) to their bodies and body parts.
Vasectomize or Tubectomize. It's easier to perform too.
Please read my earlier comment.

Past Member
Yvonne H5 years ago

and the most important part of getting a pet: Please spay/neuter your pets! I have volunteered in many shelters and there really is no more room...and entering animals get euthanized. Don't say: "my dog/cat never gets out" -- It just takes once. Another important part of getting a pet: Adopt--don't buy from breeders or pet shops. There are many young and older animals in need of homes..we don't need to encourage even more animals ending up in shelters.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)