Things Dog Owners Need to Think About, but Usually Don't

Dog ownership involves so many adventures. It’s about throwing a ball in a park, cuddling on the couch, or taking drives together. It’s wagging tails and wet-nosed kisses. It’s being greeted like you’re the best person around and having the companionship of fuzzy, unconditional love all the time. Dogs also require a lot of work and care. Most know the basics, like providing them with healthy food, sufficient water, weather-appropriate shelter, plenty of exercise, and lots of love and enrichment. They need their shots, regular checkups, and training.

However, there are some aspects of dog ownership that some may not think about. These considerations can be helpful to think about in order to keep your dog safe and happy, but many dog owners tend to overlook them.

Pet Insurance

There are a few different types of insurance to consider when you own a dog. Though pet insurance is not required, it can be helpful to consider in case something bad happens. One type of pet insurance is health insurance. This can be helpful if your dog becomes ill, gets hit by a car, or needs medication. Just be aware that prices vary based on dog size, breed, and purebred status.

Another type of insurance to consider is dog-bite insurance, also known as animal liability coverage. Though some home insurance policies cover this, some don’t. If yours doesn’t, you may be able to get a policy outside of your home insurance. Many dog owners don’t consider these situations until they happen to them, which can create a big financial burden and difficulties for your pet.

Off-Leash Risks

Dog owners who have a well-behaved, friendly pet may conclude that having their animal off of the leash is not a big deal. Whether they are walking them around the neighborhood or on a hike, some owners are okay with having their animal off-leash if their pet knows to stick to their side.

However, there are many risks some dog owners may not consider. One is that while your dog may be friendly, other dogs may be reactive. If your dog ever decided to leave your side to visit an aggressive on-leash dog, there could be trouble. Other risks include oncoming vehicles if your dog wanders into the road, other pedestrians who may be uncomfortable around dogs, or paying an off-leash dog ticket. It’s often best to train on a leash and utilize it often to keep your dog safe.

Dog Boundaries

People who own dogs obviously tend to be dog lovers. They love giving pets and getting wet puppy kisses. However, many dog owners don’t consider the fact that other people may not be comfortable around their pet, no matter how friendly they are. This is one of the reasons why leashes and keeping your dog contained are so important.

While you may feel confident that Fido wouldn’t harm a fly, don’t be so sure. Dog aggression patterns can be unpredictable. Consider the fact that dogs attack about 6,000 mail carriers each year. People may understandably be wary of your pet. Remember to respect boundaries and keep your dog away from others unless they are comfortable around dogs. Unless your dog has met a person before, it’s best to keep a boundary so that everyone feels safe.

Estate Planning

For many people, estate planning is a natural part of adult responsibilities. Especially when someone gets older, has children, or has a significant number of assets, planning a will is common enough. However, some dog owners may not think about planning for their pets in their estate planning. In order to make sure your pet is getting the best care after you’re gone, it’s important to include your dog in your plans after you leave this world.

Unfortunately, some pets end up in a shelter or in a bad situation. Making legal plans for them can help prevent that. Talking to a lawyer or even discussing plans with a family member can help relay your wishes for your pet so that those decisions aren’t left up to others.

Housing Decisions

It’s common for dog owners to make some housing decisions with their pet in mind, but maybe not all of them. For example, many pet owners consider having a big yard, a tall fence, or locating near a dog park. However, they may not consider things like home renovations specifically designed for their pet’s needs and safety.

There are plenty of home renovations you can make to benefit your animal, such as kitchen safety features, pet-friendly flooring, or even a built-in feeding station or sleeping nook. Though they aren’t always necessary, it can be a fun way to include your animal in your home’s design and features.

Many dog owners are generally great about taking care of their beloved, fluffy family members. Though some dogs are more spoiled than others, responsible dog owners make sure their dogs are safe and happy. However, there are some things that even the most caring and loving owner may not consider. Insurance, off-leash risks, boundaries with strangers, estate planning, and housing decisions are all aspects that many dog owners usually don’t think about. Though these things may not be especially common to consider, they will help to keep your dog safer and happier.

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