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Should I get a dog for my family?

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If you clicked on this, then you’re asking yourself,  “Should I get a dog for my family?”.  My kids ask all the time if we can get a dog and we already HAVE a dog.  There is something about a cute little puppy playing that people can not resist.  Update:  I wrote this three years ago, but updated a few things because we got a new PUPPY!!

Should I get a dog for my family? After looking at this cute face you'll want one, but you really need to think hard and make sure it's the right decision for your family.

Should I get a dog for my family?

My family dog is 11, very mellow and loves to just lay around doing her own thing.  I don’t really have to do much for her except let her out and feed her.  She just walks around, a casual observer to the busy comings and goings of her family.  In contrast, our new puppy, who we named Rocky, is absolutely nothing like that.  I’ve literally said, “No!” 100 times today.  He’s an airedale terrier.  I’m allergic to normal dog fur and terriers have hair that doesn’t bother me.

Should I get a dog for my family? After looking at this cute face you'll want one, but you really need to think hard and make sure it's the right decision for your family.

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding to get a new dog.

Do you have the money?

Dogs cost a lot.  If you have never had a dog, then you don’t realize how much money it takes to care of one.  Most people just think of some little toys and food, but there is so much more than that.  We have to get out dog’s hair cut, since she has hair and not fur.  We should do it more often, but it cost $65 every time we take her.  

Her food runs about $30 a month and that’s not even the good stuff.  We have to board her when we go on vacation or out of town.   Also, vet bills can be very expensive.  We spend more with the vet than on all the kids doctor bills!   For example, just this week I spent $700 on blood work, tests, ultrasound, and medicine for her.

BTW- We’ve been using for our dog food, treats, and other accessories.  It’s nice to just have things delivered and not have to go out in traffic.  We have our food automatically delivered.

Do you have the time to take care of a new dog?

Puppies take a lot of time and training.  Are you willing to take that time and do it right? Do you even have the time to do it at all?  They have a lot of energy.  They will need attention and a way to release all that hyperactivity.  Can you go on walks with the dog?  

Getting them out of the house and on a long walk will wear them out and let them explore.  Do you have a fenced in backyard?  Do you have to walk the dog on a leash every time it has to go out to the bathroom?  Potty training a dog will take some patience.  These are all questions you need to ask yourself and kids.

Has your family decided who will take care of the dog?

Who is responsible for taking the dog on walks?  Who is in charge of feeding her everyday?  Many kids volunteer for this before they get a dog, but after awhile, when the novelty wears off, they just can’t keep up with the responsibility.  You have to be realistic in what your children can handle. You don’t want to argue with the kids about taking care of the animal.  

One argument we hear a lot at our house centers on who is cleans up the poop in the backyard.  I solved this by making a calendar with each child’s name on the day it was their job to handle the poop.  It has definitely helped alleviate some of the arguing.

These are just 3 things you have to think about if you are wanting to get a new puppy.  The good will often outweigh the bad when it comes to a family dog, but you still have to ask the questions when you are thinking about getting a dog.  So after reading this I’ll ask the question again, “Should I get a dog for my family?”.  What’s the answer?

You also like this New Puppy Checklist with a FREE Printable or Gift Guide for Dog Lovers!


Monday 2nd of April 2018

LOVE Airedales! Ours was a very challenging puppy, but he grew up into a wonderful companion. We miss him! We hope to get another someday. But you’re right, puppies are a lot of work! We are waiting until it makes the best sense for our life. We don’t want to get a dog on a whim just for fun.

Roseanne Hauck

Monday 30th of March 2015

Love the picture of you and Zoe. Great picture of Cash too! Good advice.


Sunday 29th of March 2015

Love the idea to take turns on who cleans it up. :) I'll send E, J, & B over to get added to that list. Maybe collecting garbage won't seem as bad after that. :)