If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog first make sure you can answer all the below points. Having a cat is a completely different kind of commitment to becoming a dog owner. On average a dog can live up to 12 years plus.
First of all why do you want a dog?
Is it for company, for your child, protection or perhaps to breed from? Be honest as to the real reason as it will help you to answer the next set of questions.
Can You Afford a dog?
Sit down and list everything you will need to provide for your new pet on a daily and weekly basis. Be realistic about the cost of dog food. If you’re going to buy a large dog obviously you will be spending more on food. Also the better quality food will be more expensive, but cost effective as your pets health will be better for it in the long run.
Think about vet bills and whether you can afford those trips to the vet that you didn’t plan for. If you’re starting with a puppy then you will have all of the start up fees to contend with. Neutering, worming and vaccinations all come with follow up consultations, which are not cheap. Then you have the other accidents and illnesses you didn’t see coming. Who knows when any of us will become sick? Then think about how much pet supplies cost. From dog bowls, leads and collars to their favourite toys and grooming equipment.
Is Your Home Big Enough?
If you are living in a small one bedroom flat with no outside space then obviously a Great Dane will be out of the question. If you have a house with a garden then think about how secure is the garden? Will you need to spend a lot of money on fencing and gates? Then think about where your local parks are and if you will have the time and energy to daily walk your dog.
Walking, grooming and play time are all time consuming activities. A dog will also suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long, so think about whether someone will be around during the day. Will your dog get a proper walk? Will they receive enough attention and interaction with you? Don’t be cruel be honest. If you know that you’ll be working long hours, travel a lot or have a hectic social life then a dog is not the pet for you. Get a fish.
Do Your Homework
Research the type of dog you want to have. Find out about their character and temperament, their feeding habits etc. Find out exactly what you’ll be bringing home. For instance don’t get a small snappy type of dog when you have young children or a German Shepherd when you can’t give it adequate, daily, exercise.
This is a particularly important question to think about, especially if you’re bringing home a puppy. Dog training and socialisation takes plenty of time and patience. There is no way you can leave a puppy alone for long amounts of time. Will you be able to commit to a proper programme of training? You may need to invest in puppy training classes as well, so bear that in mind before you bring a puppy home.
All of these questions have to be thought about and answered truthfully. The rewards of owning a dog are that you will receive LOVE, LOVE, and LOVE. However you must be able to return that love and care 100% of the time as that’s what they’ll need.