Considerations

How Can Getting a Dog Change Your Life?

Bringing a dog into your home is the first step in creating a bond that can change both of your lives for the better. From giving you a reason to get off the couch to helping you teach your children an early lesson in responsibility, we think you’ll find that owning a dog can change your life in all kinds of positive ways.

What to Consider Before You Get a New Dog

  1. THINK ABOUT THE BASIC CARE AND TRAINING YOU’LL NEED TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR NEW PET

How can you prepare your home to be a comfortable and safe place for your dog to live? What toys and supplies will you need? How much time should you set aside for training? It’s good to be as informed as possible, to both ensure a smooth transition and establish a healthy bond right away.

  1. ESTABLISH YOUR FAMILY’S ROLES

Did your kids beg for a dog and promise to do all the cleaning? While you should probably take this with a grain of salt, there’s definitely something for every member of your family to do when it comes to pitching in. Just make sure that each loved one has a clear understanding of his or her role in the caretaking.

  1. PLAN FOR COSTS

You’re going to want to plan ahead by budgeting for all the care your dog will need. Costs will include not only pet food, but visits to the veterinarian, training classes, and lodging for the dog while you travel. Consult your veterinarian or local shelter to get a sense of the financial resources you’ll need.

  1. YOUR LIFESTYLE AND ENVIRONMENT

Did you know many of the reasons pets are relinquished to shelters are a direct result of their owners’ living situations? Whether the problem is related to roommates, moving, landlords, or just not having enough space, factors related to your living arrangement may make having a pet more difficult than you originally thought. Make sure that you have enough space for a dog to lead a relatively active life, as well as the permission of everyone in your living space, before you bring one into your home. If it’s not the right time for you, don’t worry – there will still be plenty of pets looking for homes when you are ready.

  1. WHICH DOG IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

A lot of people looking to adopt want to get the same breed of dog they had when they were kids, without realizing that their circumstances today may be vastly different. They may have grown up in a large house with a backyard but now live in a small apartment without one, for example. There may have been lots of people around back then to take care of the dog, whereas now they may live alone and travel frequently. That’s why it’s worth thinking beyond breed and considering how a pet’s size, activity level and personality will fit into your lifestyle.

Purina’s new and exciting interactive breed tool can help along the way. There are two different ways to find the perfect breed for you: the Breed Quiz, which asks specific questions about your preferences, and the Breed Library, which has in-depth information on dozens of different breeds.

DISCOVER WHICH BREED IS PERFECT FOR YOU!

  1. WHERE YOU’LL FIND YOUR NEW DOG

Breeders and local shelters are just two of the many places you can look to find the perfect dog for you.