Dog Ownership: Things to Consider

Having a dog is more than providing a yard rope, food, and water. Responsible dog ownership is a big responsibility.

Considerations Before Committing

Owning a dog is a serious long-term commitment. Depending on the breed you can expect to have your dog between 10 and 16 years. You will need to commit financial resources to supplies and regular care, as well as unexpected care. Your new dog will also require a significant amount of your time and energy to keep them happy and healthy.

Consider basics like:

  • Will the dog you are considering be compatible with your family?
  • Is there enough room for them in your environment?
  • Is there a safe outdoor space for them to play?
  • Do you have time, energy, and desire to walk them everyday?
  • What will you do with them when you go on vacation?
  • What will you do with them while you are at work?
  • Will you kennel your dog at night and when you are away?

Before You Bring the Dog Home

Learn all your applicable local laws. What are your local laws about tags, vaccinations, leashes, cleaning up what they leave behind, and noise ordinances?

Make sure your yard is safe and secure. Check for any noxious plants that will be problematic for your new dog. Check the fence line to make sure it is secure and intact to keep your dog from running off to explore.

Contact your primary veterinarian about an initial checkup, vaccinations, and microchip, and set up an initial checkup appointment.

When Your Dog Comes Home

Introduce your dog to their new surroundings. Show them their yard, doghouse, food and water bowls, and bedding.

Set up your training classes to help you with basic training and any advanced training.

Spend time with your dog. Dogs need and strongly desire attention and assurance that they fit in and belong in a family unit. They will express multiple objectionable behaviors when they feel neglected.

Work your dog into a routine. Have a regular time for walks, feeding, outdoor time, kennel time, and so forth.


Having a family dog is an extremely rewarding experience. However, bringing a dog into your family requires preparation, on-going effort, and a commitment to your dog’s health & wellbeing. Working with Dr. Kendra Pope to help implement holistic approaches to their health early on can provide tremendous benefits in ensuring your new family member lives a long and bountiful life.

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