How Do I Know If A Dog Is The Right Pet For Me?

Petland Florida Petland tips pets puppies

Choosing the right pet for you might be easier said than done, especially if you’re selecting a pet that must suit your entire family. You want the relationship you have with your pet to be mutually beneficial. Neglecting a high maintenance pet will leave you feeling guilty, and trying to get your aloof pet to […]

Choosing the right pet for you might be easier said than done, especially if you’re selecting a pet that must suit your entire family. You want the relationship you have with your pet to be mutually beneficial. Neglecting a high maintenance pet will leave you feeling guilty, and trying to get your aloof pet to play could cause frustration for both of you. 

Your pet-parent experience can be highly fulfilling and bring you daily joy, but only if you carefully consider which animal will best mesh with your lifestyle. And particular consideration should be given if you’re leaning towards getting a puppy.

Owning a dog comes with many responsibilities. How will you know if a dog is right for you, as opposed to a cat, bird, rabbit, or other low-maintenance pet which can be left alone for long periods of time? Depending on your home life, work schedule, and personal habits, a dog may or may not be the right pet for you. As they say, having a dog is like having a child that never grows up, in a good way! 

Read on to assess the puppy parent commitments and find out if a dog is the best pet for you.


Before you preemptively decide what kind of pet you want, we recommend that you instead ask yourself what qualities are you looking for in your furry friend, and what kind of relationship do you want to have with your pet? Are you hoping for a snuggle buddy who will always look at you with unconditional love? Do you want an independent pet who appreciates play time but can also be left alone for long hours, or even days? Or would you like an exercise buddy who can keep up with your early morning jogs?

Every pet, whether a dog, cat, bird, or rabbit, has a lot to offer, but their distinct characteristics and fixed daily schedules vary widely. A rabbit can give you early morning snuggles, but will spend the greater part of the day napping under your couch and the majority of the night munching on the wooden molding around your home unless you crate the little guy. A bird can be soothing to watch, but it won’t make the best cuddle mate. And a dog will need a lot of attention and may try to accompany you during every moment of your day. 

Your pet’s needs will come first, so choosing a high-maintenance vs. low maintenance pet could make all the difference in the world depending on your expectations. Each type of pet has specific needs that revolve around their feeding schedule, natural behaviors, costs of care, pet toys and accessories, and demands on your time and attention. 

Which pet should I get? Ask yourself the following questions to help narrow it down:

  • How many years are you prepared to care for a pet? Dogs can live up to 15 years, cats 12 – 16 years, parakeets 7 – 15 years, and rabbits 5 – 8 years. Not to mention, parrots can live a whopping 50 years!
  • How much space does your home provide? You’ll be sharing space with your furry friend, which can impact your sanity and theirs. How will you feel about pet hair and possible damage to your furniture?
  • How would you prefer to deal with doodie-duty? Your pet is going to go to the bathroom and you’re going to have to clean it up. Can you live with an indoor litter box, its associated smells, and the time and energy it will take to litter train, if for example, you want to litter train your rabbit? Will you be okay with or squeamish about picking up & properly disposing of doggie poop during outdoor walks?
  • Do you have a spouse, children, or roommates? How will the pet affect their lives, and will they be okay with that? Do you have expectations that everyone in your household will chip in and take care of the pet?
  • How much time do you have to spend with the pet each day? Are you a homebody or are you physically active? And do you want to share your activity time with your pet if possible?
  • Have you considered the overall costs of the pet, including food, veterinarian trips, toys & accessories, and pet sitters? 


If you’ve answered the above questions and determined that a dog will fit your lifestyle, we recommend that you go deeper and ask yourself why you want a dog specifically. Due to the dog’s natural instinct to become your best friend, dogs require more attention than any other pet. At times, when people think about getting a puppy, they become so focused on how a new puppy will benefit their lives that they overlook all the responsibilities they must uphold for the puppy’s benefit. When it comes to dogs and puppies in particular, you might have to give a lot more than you get, at least at first. But as long as you’re willing, it’ll be worth it, and you’ll see a big return on investment as the puppy matures into an adult-age dog.   

The Wrong Reasons To Get A Dog:

  • Because You Want Personal Protection: Make no mistake, the right dog breeds can protect your home and family like their lives depend on it, but only if you take the time to properly train your dog to serve this very specific purpose. And we aren’t going to sugarcoat it. Proper training in this regard will require a professional, and a well-trained guard dog could come with liability risks if, for example, there’s a new mailman or other “stranger” that stops by. 
  • Because You Want A Fashion Accessory: Purse pooches are adorable, there’s no debating it! But just because certain breeds fit in your bag and look great by your side doesn’t mean they’ll fit into your overall life and schedule. We recommend that you research the various personalities of different dog breeds, and be honest with yourself about your personal schedule and commitment to care for a dog in the long run.
  • Because Your Kids Are Begging You: If you have children, then you probably know that kids can be experts at wearing their parents down by using a tone of voice and wide-eyed stare that’s impossible to say no to. But unlike caving to your children’s demands for one more bowl of ice cream or one more hour of Minecraft, a dog will still be there after the dessert is finished and the video game is tucked away. Unless you, yourself, are prepared to care for the dog and pick up the slack when your kids drop the ball, then it would be best to hold off. 

The Right Reasons To Get A Dog:

  • Because Your Lifestyle Has Room For A By-Your-Side Buddy: Different dog breeds will have different attention needs, but all dogs will want and need to be by your side daily, whether it’s for those long, cozy hours at night or all throughout the day. For example, if you’re a work-from-home-body who’s looking for an around-the-clock companion, consider getting a lap dog breed such as the pug, chihuahua, or havanese. 
  • Because You’re Committed to Regular Exercise: Medium-to-large dog breeds that have high energy are perfect for athletic, outdoorsy people, and that’s not all. Even if you aren’t a daily jogger, as long as you’re committed to taking your dog for daily walks, ideally twice per day, both you and your dog will stay happy and healthy.  
  • Because Your Home Got A Bit Quiet: Are you an empty-nester who feels at odds now that the kids are grown and gone? Or have you recently lost your spouse? If your home is suddenly all-too-quiet and you’re feeling the loss of loved ones who are gone, then a dog can help fill the hole in your heart. As highly intuitive and sympathetic pets, dogs can sense when you’re feeling down or lonely, and they’ll instinctively comfort you.

As you can see, determining whether or not a dog is the right pet for you takes a great deal of consideration. Don’t rush the process, and we encourage you to do your homework and carefully pick out a dog breed that will complement your lifestyle. You can get started by reading our articles, 5 Best Puppy Breeds for Runners and Active People and What Are A Puppy’s Personality Traits

Are you ready to find a puppy that you’ll forever love? Check out the available puppies at our Petland Florida locations.