We’ve all heard the old saying, try-before-you-buy. So, how do you know if your family is ready for pet ownership? And how will you choose the breed that’s right for your family? Here are a few ways you can expose your family to dogs of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds before deciding which one will make your family complete.
Visit a Dog Park
Checking out a local dog park can be a great place to meet dogs. You’ll also be able to see how different breeds interact with other animals and humans. Be sure to ask their owners questions. You’ll find a dog park to be a friendly place to get tons of great insider information, like where other pet owners adopted or bought their dogs, how much they spend monthly on dog food costs, and more.
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Animal shelters and rescues are always in need of helping hands. Find out how you can volunteer at a local shelter and get to know some of the animals as a dog walker or dog bather. But be aware that most shelters have age requirements for volunteers.
Dogsit or Dogwalk for Others
There’s no better way to determine if your family is ready for pet ownership than to try it out for a while! Offer to dogsit or dogwalk for family or friends when they’re headed out of town. Or for real go-getters, sign up for a service like rover.com that matches animal owners with sitters in their area. (Current pet owners can use promo code BUCKNER20 for $20 off their first booking).
Foster a Dog
Many animals are in need of foster care. Local shelters can fill you in on the details for their foster programs. Sometimes foster care for an animal is the difference between healing up after surgery in a shelter, or in the care of a loving family while they wait for their forever home. Visit petfinder.com to find animals available in your zip code.
Doggy Day Care Job
If you have spare time and want to make a little money, consider getting a part-time gig at a doggy day care. This hands-on experience lets you love on furry friends, see how they interact, and form relationships with the animals. You can also be part of teaching commands and tricks.
Attend Events for Pets
Communities often offer special events for pet owners and their pets. Don’t have a pet yet? That doesn’t mean you’re not invited. Attend a special event at a pet store, pet expo, or a 5K with Fido. Have fun, meet animals, and learn more about pet ownership.
Kennan is a wife and stay-at-home mom to Jaxson, Caden, and Emilyn. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and has many years of experience as a writer and photographer. She now uses her skills to run Marken Media Co.(), a company she owns with her husband Marcus.