It’s nothing new to see a dog as part of most households or families, but if you’ve never had a dog before and are considering getting a faithful friend, you may not realize the extent to which a dog can change your life for the better and truly benefit you, physically and mentally.
Things to Consider Before Deciding to Get a Dog
Your Home Layout
Some homes are better suited for dogs than others, so you’ll need to think carefully about your own. If you live in a very small, top-level apartment, for example, then this is going to be more difficult for a dog than having a house with a garden.
Your Working Pattern
Dogs can be left alone for a certain number of hours, but you need to make sure that your working pattern won’t compromise the wellbeing and care of a dog. Be sure you can still keep your dog company and take it for at least two walks a day around your working schedule. More importantly, if you are considering getting a puppy and raising it, then you will need to be at home for the majority of the time in the early days for training.
Furthermore, if your work sees you on the road or traveling for long periods, this will be problematic for a dog if you live alone.
Having a dog will require a financial commitment. You will need to take into consideration the weekly standard costs such as food, but you also need to think of the bigger picture, like vaccinations and medical costs over time.
Some changes may need to be made to accommodate a dog, especially if you live alone. If your lifestyle usually sees you out of the house for the majority of the time, perhaps taking regular trips and vacations or having a highly active social life, then sacrifices will need to be made to ensure you can still be at home with your dog when you need to be.
You need to understand the lifespan of a dog and decide whether you are ready. The average lifespan of a dog can be at least 10 years, so understand the commitment you are making and what your own plans are in regard to work and lifestyle for the next ten years.
The Benefits of Having a Dog
1. Has the Ability to Lower Your Stress Levels
Not only is a dog a soothing presence, but simply cuddling with, stroking and playing with a dog can have you feeling calmer in no time. Often, simply the sight of your dog welcoming you home can have you feeling happier and less stressed. Furthermore, taking your dog for a long walk when feeling stressed can help to reduce your tension through activity.
2. It’s Loyal Companionship
If you live alone or if you have bouts of loneliness, a dog can be a truly special presence in your life and in your home. It offers companionship day in and day out and provides a solid friend who will always be there for you.
3. It’s Unconditional Love
Your dog will be a positive and loving presence in your home from day one. The bond you build with your faithful companion will be like no other, and it’s a special experience to know that your dog loves you unconditionally. This can positively impact your life and have your home feeling more inviting and more loving simply with a dog being there.
3. It May Help With Your Mental Wellbeing
Loving dogs are great at improving your mental wellbeing, simply because they inspire affection and positivity. When you are feeling low, dogs can help perk you back up simply by being there for you and offering a comforting presence, especially if you live alone.
Not only that, but dogs will offer non-negotiable exercise, which means you’re encouraged to stay active, take a walk and look after yourself, which can be a boon when you’re struggling with mental health conditions, especially those which affect your weight, such as discussed here at edentreatment.com.
4. It’ll Keep You Active
A dog will make sure that you’re getting a minimum amount of exercise every single day, and it won’t allow for excuses on skipping crucial exercise. It also provides even more opportunities for an adventure outdoors, such as hiking with your dog or making travel decisions based on more active vacations you can take with your pet.
5. It’ll Enhance a Growing Family
Dogs can have very special places in a growing family with younger children, as they can easily create special family memories for younger people. A dog is easily an extra member of your family, and it can help to create even more special memories for you and your children. You can take family walks together, or young children can have fun playing with the dog on summer days in the garden.
6. It Can Help With Socializing
Having a dog gives you the perfect excuse to socialize, and may result in you meeting a lot more people along the way. Whether it’s at a dog training class, a dog-walking park or on the road with your pet, it’s more likely you’ll meet friendly people and fellow dog-lovers when you have your own.
7. It Will Encourage More Responsibility
Dogs help build important responsibility, whether you’re wanting that for yourself or for children who are growing up. For first-time dog owners, and for those who have never had children, raising a pet can ensure a better routine, a better sense of responsibility, and the important skill of balancing support and care for another living thing.
How to Prepare Your Home for a Dog
- Set up a cleaning station
- Buy everything you need (collar, lead, and food, for example)
- Decide which areas of the home your dog will be allowed
- Make room
- Set up a storage station for toys
- Plan your schedule around the arrival of your dog (take time off work if you can to help your dog adjust)
- A dog truly is a special addition to any home.