5 tips to become a responsible dog owner: it’s not enough to just love them

Hangai Lilla

2024. February 16 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Dog ownership is joy, privilege, and responsibility. The word "responsibility" is doubly emphasized. If you're considering becoming a dog owner, this article is for you. We are committed to ensuring that every prospective owner understands the changes that will occur in their life and only makes the final decision when the circumstances are appropriate. This decision, though not necessarily for a lifetime, extends for at least 10-15 years, and you cannot approach it with a "we'll figure it out somehow" attitude.


It’s also important to recognize the difference between “I really love dogs” and “I really want a dog” even through the blurred and distorted lenses of desire and enthusiasm. By reading through our list, we hope to provide a solid reference point regarding what will be vital for you to invest time, energy, and money into if you also want to be a good dog owner to a happy and healthy pet.

1. Carefully examine your current life situation

If you’re constantly working overtime for a promotion, just found out you’re expecting a baby, or have to travel regularly for work, even abroad, it might not be the ideal stage of your life to embark on such a big adventure that will require so much energy and time.

As much as the sight of a wagging tail might make you happy when you come home after a 12-hour workday, in the long run, that wagging tail may become increasingly droopy and sad because the most important part of its life is never present. It’s not worth being selfish in such a situation.

2. Financially, can you afford it?

Being a dog owner costs a lot of money. There’s no way around it. If you’re already contemplating how to cut costs when it comes to acquiring a puppy, that’s not a good sign. If you think that shelters offer free storage for barking creatures and if the idea of a “breeder” seems suspicious to you because dogs are packed tightly together, fur covers everything, and there are problems with smells, but you choose this option because the dog is 80,000 cheaper here, that’s also not a good sign. Whatever you save on the puppy from a breeder, you’ll likely end up paying with interest in veterinary bills later on.

And this is just the beginning! Vaccinations, equipment, veterinary visits, potential surgeries or interventions, a dog groomer, quality food, and so on. It’s like having a child. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend money on education! Or do you?

3. Choosing the breed is a critical point

No matter how much we admire German Shepherds, we simply know that with a 40-hour workweek, a daily 2-hour commute, and a 50 m² apartment, life would be torture for them. Even if we really, really love them.

Never base your decision solely on the appearance of a dog! However, it’s an undeniable important factor to consider whether you’ll have the time and energy to care for a long-haired dog. That’s why we warmly recommend reading our breed descriptions. Read, do your research! What is the dog’s temperament and character like, what are the typical illnesses, how big will it grow, how much exercise does it require?

And as we mentioned in the previous point, reach out to various breeders, and if you want to adopt, then contact shelters. Don’t hesitate to ask them for advice and have conversations with them.

4. Adapt your lifestyle to your dog

Once you’ve considered the previous questions and know which breed is ideal for you, grab pen and paper. Plan out what you need to acquire. Remember even the smallest details, such as poop bags for walks or paw balm for winter.

Inspect your living space and make it dog-proof. If you have a balcony, dedicate some attention to that as well.

Create a schedule for your daily routine. When will walks be, feeding times, when should the water be changed even if there’s still some in the bowl? Also, think about long-term events. When are vaccinations due, when should you attend regular veterinary check-ups? Where will the dog stay when you travel?

It’s a lot of questions, isn’t it? Before you panic, take a moment to slow down! We suggest making tables and lists precisely so you can mentally prepare and experience as few surprises as possible.

5. Get to know the chosen breed and the general needs of dogs

A responsible breeder can provide answers to many of your questions about the breed, but a great veterinarian can also be of tremendous help. You can find plenty of reliable sources on the internet (wink), and you can also talk to experienced owners who have the breed you’ve chosen.

We recommend familiarizing yourself with the general body language, communication, and needs of dogs so you can show your love and care in a way they understand.

We think attending a dog school is a great idea. Because not only will you learn more easily, but you’ll also start socializing very early. Which will result in a healthy and cooperative dog in the future.

From this article, you can learn how to correctly show your love to your dog.

breeder breeding dog ownership dog school Dog Training puppies puppy dog training Training veterinarian

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