Quiz: Is Our Family Ready for a Puppy?


We are a family of six: five humans and one dog who thinks she’s probably a human.

She came into our lives about a year and a half ago after The Dudes begged me to let them get a puppy.  We love her hard and can’t imagine her not being a member of the family.

But, she’s not our first go around the dog park.

We had a preschooler and a toddler when we decided to get our first puppy.  He was a pure bread Beagle and, for some reason, he did NOT enjoy being a member of a family with children in it. 

We went to obedience school and worked to integrate him into our lives, but he wound up being aggressive to my youngest son (while also hating my husband) and we had to find him a more appropriate home.

I think we gave everything we could at the time to that dog and I’m happy to say that I know he’s in a happier home (we gave him to a family friend who doesn’t have children), but more than anything I think we just weren’t ready to be dog owners.

It was a sad experience to have to give him away (except for my son who he’d bitten, I think he was pretty relieved about the whole thing) and I like to encourage young families to think long and hard about their puppy readiness before they make the same mistake that we did.

So, before you welcome a furry friend into your home see if you’re ready to take the leap, starting with this easy quiz.

Quiz: Is Our Family Ready for a Puppy?

1.  We want a new dog because…

a.  They’re so stinking cute.

b.  My husband and I grew up with dogs and we want our children to experience that too.

c.  I’ve heard they are good for kids and I think I want to be a dog family.

2.  If we get a dog someone will…

a.  Play with it.

b.  Be available to take the dog on walks, let him out during the day, and make sure that he is well taken care of.

c.  Be home during the day and probably pay attention to him.

3.  To be happy dogs need…

a.  Lots of belly scratches!  And, bacon treats.  Dog's LOVE bacon!

b.  Healthy food, good shelter, plenty of exercise, reliable medical care, and love.  Lots and lots of love.

c.  A happy family.

4.  Dogs, on average cost ______ per year…


a.  not that much, all they need is food, a few toys, and love, which is FREE!

b.  $1500-$3000

c.  I don’t know, but I know it’s a lot!

5.  Our dog will have plenty of exercise because…

a.  The kids exhaust me, I’m sure they’ll do the same for the dog.

b.  We will take him on a good walk at least once a day.

c.  We’ll just let him out in the yard to run around all day.

6.  We know exactly what breed of dog we want because…

a.  Ohemgee! Because beagles are so, SO cute!  We have to get one!

b.  Based on our rental agreements, our family dynamic, and our space we know which breeds of dog will be a good fit for us.

c.  I’ve been looking at some dog breeds online and I just have a good idea of what might work for us.

7.  My husband says he was allergic to dog growing up but…

a.  I don’t care because we want a dog.

b.  we’ve discussed his allergy and are planning to get him and the kids tested before we move forward.

c.  we’ve talked about this and it remains one of my reservations.

8.  The kids are deathly afraid of dogs right now…

a.  But, they’re gonna have to get over it because this is soooo happening.

b.  If we decide to move forward with this, we will do it as a family and we plan to integrate the dog slowly to give everyone time to adjust.

c.  I’m hopeful that getting a dog will help with this, but I’m still uncertain.

9.  I think right now is the perfect time for us to bring home a new dog because our family…

a.  Is still young and growing rapidly.  We have a toddler and I’m pregnant with twins!  Plus we’re moving across country in a couple of months.  This way the babies and the puppy can grow up together in our forever home.  It’ll be so sweet.

b.  Our family is complete and everyone is even potty trained.  I think we’re in a good place to welcome a new member.

c.  Is probably done growing.  I think we are definitely not going to be making any major changes any time soon.

10.  I understand the ramifications of dog ownership…


a.  and know that it will be awe-some.

b.  which is why we’ve waited until now, when we are ready as a family, to take on this responsibility.

c.  and that is why I remain apprehensive and want to ensure that we are really ready to take this on.

Now, here’s what your score tells you about how dog-ready you and your family are!

Mostly A’s: Fugetuhboutit.  You are not even a tiny bit realistic about dog ownership right now so let’s see if we can school you on that.  Dogs need more than love, sorta like babies.  They need a good shelter, and a good food, and access to veterinary care.  Plus they cost serious bucks.  Maybe not newborn baby bucks, but lots still.  If you’re serious about bringing home a new dog, do some research.  Try starting here: The ASPCA.

Mostly B’s: You got this!  A dog is so in your future, all you have to do is buy the leash and go pick out your pooch!  You seem to have asked yourself and your family the hard questions and you take dog ownership seriously which means you’ll make a great dog mama (or daddy).

Mostly C’s: You’re getting close.  You aren’t taking this dog ownership thingy lightly, and that’s a good start.  Dog ownership is a huge decision so go ahead and take your time, don’t let your kids’ cute pouts rush you, and when the time is right, you’ll do the right thing!


Where did you fall on the quiz? Are you headed out to get a new puppy anytime soon? 

Image via Amanda Rodriquez


What do you think?

Quiz: Is Our Family Ready for a Puppy?

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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1 comment

  1. Wish we had a puppy. Instead he has a full grown Rottweiler that he loves…Don’t know what we’re gonna do.


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