So, you're thinking about bringing a furry friend into your life and you're wondering if you're up to the task.
Well, buckle up because being a dog dad is no walk in the park (see what I did there?).
A dog is not just a cuddle buddy that you can play with for a few minutes and then tuck away in a corner. No, no, no! They require daily attention, care, and heaps of commitment.
It's like having a new roommate, but instead of splitting the rent, you're splitting kibble. In this article, we'll look at 8 signs you're ready to be a dog dad.
Your living situation is stable
Alright, let's talk about the importance of having a stable living situation. When there is instability, there is turmoil.
Think of it this way: owning a dog is like being a captain of a ship. You need to have a solid foundation to keep your crew (dog) happy and healthy. If your ship (life) is constantly rocking and rolling, then your crew (dog) is going to get seasick (anxiety).
Alright, metaphor out of the way...
What exactly does a stable living situation mean?
- You have a steady income: If you're bringing home regular pay, then you might have a stable living situation.
- Your living situation is permanent: If you're not planning on moving in the next six months, then you might have a stable living situation
- Your living situation is spacious: If you have enough room for your pup to run around and play, then you might have a stable living situation.
If any of these statements were true, then there's a good chance you're ready to be a dog dad.
You have budgeted for expenses
The next sign you're ready to become a dog dad is less exciting but just as important as the first one. It's all about budgeting for expenses.
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and it comes with an equally huge price tag. Seriously. So, before you rush out to find your perfect pup, you need to make sure you have a budget in place to cover all the costs associated with buying and maintaining a dog.
When you bring a furry pal into your life, you're also bringing home vet bills, food, toys, and a whole bunch of other expenses.
That's why it's so important to budget for expenses. Just like you budget for rent, a mortgage, utilities, and groceries, you need to budget for your doggo too. They might get to live rent-free, but you don't!
Just like other expenses, if you run out of cash, then you might find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you can no longer take care of your dog. And, that could mean handing your dog over to the rescue centre. The dog homes are already overflowing, please don't be that guy.
Doom and gloom aside, if you've got a budget in place and you're comfortable and able to take on the financial responsibilities of owning a dog, then there's a good chance you're ready to become a dog dad.
You have time for daily care
Listen up, owning a dog is a big-time commitment. Your dog is going to need daily exercise, attention, grooming, and a whole bunch of other things that take time. So, before you bring your furry best friend home, you need to make sure you have the time to take care of them.
Daily care for your furry best friend is going to include things like walking, playing, feeding, grooming, and much more.
The shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated dog ownership, but as lockdowns ended and dog owners returned to the office, many playful pups have been left shocked by the absence of their dads.
If you've got plenty of time (especially during your dog's puppyhood), then you might just be ready to become a dog dad!
You are committed to training and socialisation
Training and socialization are incredibly important for your dog's well-being and happiness. By training your dog in the 7 basic dog commands, you're helping them to learn how to behave and interact with the world around them. Which could one day, save their life.
And by socialising your dog, you're helping them to become confident and comfortable in new situations like at the dog park, or on a noisy city street.
Training and socialization take time and effort, but it's incredibly rewarding. You'll need to invest in regular training sessions, playdates with other dogs, and plenty of positive reinforcement to help them to become well-behaved pups.
So if think you're ready to put in the effort to train and socialise your dog, then you stand a good chance of becoming a dog dad.
You have made arrangements for care when away from home
Dogs require daily care and attention, so if you're going to be away from home and you can't take your dog with you, you'll need to make sure that someone is there to take care of them. This could be a trusted pet sitter, a family member, or even a doggy daycare.
You could opt for a trusted pet sitter who will come to your home to take care of your dog. This option is a good choice if you want your dog to stay in their own familiar surroundings while you're away. Plus if you have a family friend or relative this might be an ideal choice.
Or, you could choose to send your dog to a doggy daycare. Doggy daycares are great because they provide socialization, exercise, and plenty of playtimes – but can be a daunting experience, so consider it carefully.
So if you know you need to be away from your pup, and you're ready with a plan for care, you might just be ready to become a dog dad!
You have a network of support
Having a network of support to help you through dog ownership will certainly help. A trusted veterinarian to keep your pup healthy or a seasoned dog owner who can offer advice and guidance, having a support system can make all the difference in your journey as a dog parent.
Consider connecting with a veterinarian who can provide medical advice and care, a dog trainer who can help with behavior and obedience, and other dog owners who can offer camaraderie and a wealth of experience.
Whether it's through local dog groups or online publications like Furrimals, it's always a good idea to have a network of like-minded individuals to turn to when you need support and advice. Join the Furrimals community.
Make sure you've got a strong support system in place to help you and your furry friend on your journey together! If you can tick this box, you might be one step closer to becoming a dog dad.
You have a love for dogs
Let's face it, having a dog is no walk in the park (pun intended!), it's a full-time commitment and love affair. And, let's be real if you're not a dog person, why bother?
Being a dog dad requires a special kind of love, one that can handle slobber, shedding, and unconditional affection.
If the sight of a wagging tail and a wet nose makes your heart skip a beat, if you secretly want to cuddle with every dog you meet, if you find yourself daydreaming about taking your pup on adventures, then you, my friend, have a love for dogs.
In short, if you're ready to have your heart stolen by a four-legged furball, and can tolerate the not-so-glamorous adventures that come with being a dog dad, you might be ready.
You have researched the breed
Just like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, with different personalities, energy levels, and quirks. By researching the breed, you can get a better understanding of what you’re getting yourself into, and whether it’s the right fit for your lifestyle.
For starters, you’ll want to learn about the breed’s general temperament, exercise needs, grooming requirements, and health concerns. You’ll also want to find out how the breed interacts with children, other dogs, and even strangers.
Researching the breed can save you a lot of heartache and trouble in the long run, so make sure you do your due diligence before becoming a dog dad!
At the time of writing this article, I'm a dog dad of 3 years, so I feel as though I have the authority to share my personal experiences.
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility, let me repeat that, owning a dog is a huge responsibility.
You're going to need a stable living situation, budgeted expenses, lots of time for daily care, unwavering commitment to training and socialization, able to arrange care for your dog when you're not around, and a network of support. If you were nodding as you read these 8 signs, you may be ready to take the next step.