As Christmas is just around the corner, more and more people are starting to consider the idea of getting a dog. After all, there’s something cinematic about receiving an adorable puppy with a big bow around their neck on Christmas morning. However, a lot of people may not be sure what they’re in for before they take the leap. Dogs aren’t just something that comes into your life for a couple of weeks or months.  So, before you get a dog, here are some of the things that you should know first. 

Dogs Are For The Long Haul 

Before you start thinking about a dog, you should definitely consider whether it’s something that will fit into your lifestyle for a long time. For example, are you planning on moving sometime soon? Do they allow dogs there? If you’re older, perhaps you envision yourself living in an assisted living facility.  They may not allow dogs there. Remember, a dog lives an average of 13 years, so make sure that you can commit to taking care of them for that long. 

Not all Breeds are The Same 

It’s important that you get to know the breed that you’re about to buy. Not all breeds are the same. Some require much more exercise, while some are quite happy sitting around for most of the day. Take into account everything from how much you like to exercise your dog, to how much space the type of dog you’re looking at requires. Above all, make sure that you research whether a breed is safe for children or not if you have kids. 

It’s Like Another Child 

A lot of people think that dogs are like cats— self-sufficient. The truth is that dogs require a lot more attention than cats. Cats spend most of the day lounging around and sleeping and are quite happy spending time alone.  However, dogs need much more attention. They need to be walked at least 15 minutes a day and need you to be home with them.  Having a dog is less like having a cat and much more like having another child to look after. If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, then you should forget it. 

They Cost a Lot 

A lot of people think that the only costs they’ll have to worry about are initial vaccines, equipment, and monthly dog food. This is hardly the case. Dogs require regular vet visits, and also any other medical attention that they may require on top of checkups. It’s also important to know that dogs tend to be quite naughty when they’re puppies. You might find that they destroy more of your belongings than you realize, costing you much more than just dog food.  

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