Having a dog is a major responsibility that should not be entered into lightly. Before getting a dog, you should ask yourself if you are ready to take on this responsibility and know somewhat what you are getting yourself into. Here’s a few things you should know before getting your first dog!

Buying a dog versus adopting a dog

When you are thinking of getting a dog, you should consider if you want to buy a dog from a breeder or if you want to adopt. I have done both, and both dogs have been wonderful. You should know that when getting a dog from a breeder, you could pay hundreds of dollars. If you adopt a dog, the cost can range from $50-200 typically. The adopted dog will often come with some or all vaccinations. 


For the betterment of each dog owner, please properly vaccinate your new dog. When you have a new dog that is not vaccinated, you run the risk of your dog contracting Parvo. Parvo is spread through dog poop and can live in the soil for months, making it a risk for other dogs. Keep your dog healthy by keeping their vaccinations up to date. 

Spaying/Neutering your dog

Most areas have a high abundance of stray animals. Please take the responsibility of having your dog spayed/neutered. If you do not, you take the risk of adding to the issue of stray animals. If you have questions, call your local animal shelter. They can help! 

The cost of having a dog

Dogs can be expensive. Food, care, and toys are just some of the costs you will incur when you get a dog. You want to make sure you are feeding your dog quality food, which can be costly. Unexpected vet trips can be expensive. 

The time commitment

Training and caring for a dog takes time. If you are not home very much, you should consider that when thinking about getting a dog. 

Travel arrangements

If you decide to go for a weekend getaway, what are you going to do with your dog? Can your dog come with you? If you are flying, are their costs to bring your dog on the plane with you? If you cannot take your dog, who is going to take care of your dog? Look into reputable dog sitting apps like “Rover.” These apps allow you to read reviews on dog sitters in your area. You can even communicate with them during your dogs stay.

Free feeding vs. scheduled feeding

Do you want to feed your dog at the same time every day or leave food out for it so the dog can eat whenever? Free feeding works better if you have a busier schedule, where as scheduled feeding works better if you’re available to feed your dog at the same time every day. 

Kallie B
When Kallie is not working full time trying to raise money, she is often studying how people process political messages. Powered with 2 undergraduate degrees, 1 graduate degree and now working towards a Ph.D., she has dived into the world of political communication and psychophysiological research. She is a 5th generation Texan, and has been in politics since she was 8 years old.