Caring for a new dog is no small potatoes. While love and adoration go a long way in being a good pet parent, success in nurturing your new dog ultimately boils down to whether or not you devote time to them. As dog ownership is often a 10-15 year endeavor, its important to ask if you have enough time to address your dog’s needs before you take them in.

dalmation puppy in a basket

Here is a roadmap of the ways in which dogs require time from their owners for healthy and happy lives

A Break Down of Pet Care Essentials

Pet selfies and other levity aside, you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time tending to your new dog’s basic needs.

A minimum daily walk routine should include at least 3 visits outside, each about 20 minutes in length. Insufficient outside time can lead to physical health issues, mental instability, and accidents inside the home.

Pets, like humans, need semi-regular check-ups. Plan on dedicating some time every 6 months or so for a routine visit to the vet, and expect extra time to be spent with medical care if your dog has health issues.

Visits to the the grocery and/or pet store will also enter your life’s routine, as pet food, toys, and hygiene supplies are must-gets.

Grooming is an essential and time-consuming element of dog ownership for some, especially those caring for dogs with long, easily matted hair.

Make Time for Pet Training

Not all dogs require intensive or professional training, but you should expect to spend at least some time teaching your dog to operate in polite society.

Potty training can take time, especially for puppies or dogs with a history of abuse. Routine-oriented, patient training will be the most effective and gentle way to potty-train your new friend.

Socializing your pet with people and other dogs may require some time and dedication. Visits to friends’ houses or the dog park are time-consuming (and often fun) ways to socialize an animal.

If you’d like any commands obeyed, your dog will necessarily need a good amount of your time and patience to learn them!

Leave Some Time For Fun

Having a healthy life with your dog usually means a willingness to spend some time having fun with them! Hikes, visits to the beach, and playtime with their favorite toy are all wonderful ways to be active with your pet.

Research Your Future Dog’s Needs

To know how to take care of your specific dog requires some research and understanding! Responsible dog owners should expect to spend some time learning about their dog, and what their dog’s breed, age, and health imply about its needs.

It may seem like a lot, but spending time nurturing your dog is an incredibly profitable experience for most dog owners. Consider the amount of time it takes to raise a pet before pulling the trigger, and enjoy as much time with your furry friend as you can!