Puppies are hard to resist, or perhaps you’ve seen a sad little dog sitting in a rescue center and want nothing more than to take him home and give him a great life. But the truth is that before you commit to getting a dog, it’s important to ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for - especially if you want to get a puppy. Dogs are a massive commitment and they need a lot of your time and attention, every single day for the rest of their lives, so it’s important to make sure that you are ready for that. So many dogs needlessly end up on the streets or in shelters because their owners didn’t think it through when they decided to take the plunge. So, what should you consider before you decide whether or not getting a dog is the right choice for you?
First of all, consider the cost of getting a dog. Buying a puppy can get really expensive, especially if you want to buy a pedigree pooch. On the other hand, getting a dog for a rescue center can often be done at a very nominal cost in order to cover medical expenses like spaying or neutering, vaccinations, health check, and flea and worm treatment. However, it’s not just the upfront cost that you will need to consider. Over their lifetime, your dog is likely going to cost you thousands of pounds and there are plenty of expenses involved including feeding, accessories, dog sitting, dog walkers, boarding kennels, vet fees, pet insurance and more. Weigh up your budget and decide if you can comfortably fit in the cost of owning a dog as well.
Being a pet parent to a dog can take up a considerable amount of your time, so it’s important to be dedicated to them. Otherwise, you’re simply not going to be able to provide them with the attention that they need and it’s not going to be fair on either of you. Certain dogs will require more time and attention than others, so keep this in mind when selecting the right dog breed to go for. If you spend a lot of time outdoors and are very active, a big, high-energy breed like a Border Collie might be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you spend more time indoors and only want to walk your dog in the park once or twice a day for a short time, consider a smaller, lower-energy pooch like a Bichon Friese.
Does your living area have the space for a dog? If you’re living in a small apartment, for example, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get a dog, but it might rule out getting a huge German Shepherd or Husky if the two of you are going to be cramped in there. Consider how much space you have for a dog when deciding on the type to get; a Frenchie or Pug might be an ideal choice for a small flat, for example, since they’re small and won’t take up a lot of room.
Do you have any other pets? Consider how a new dog is going to fit around them. If you already have a dog, consider how she is with other dogs and how a new canine addition to the family is going to affect her routine. If you have a cat, how is your cat around dogs? If you’re getting an adult dog, do they get on with cats? The last thing that you want is for your home to become a place of fear and contention for the animals living within it, so carefully consider your other pets and how you’re going to introduce them safely and slowly to encourage the best possible outcome.
Food is number one on most dogs’ priority lists, so it’s important to think about how and what you are going to feed your dog. If you are taking on a rescue dog, consider if they have any special dietary requirements and ensure that you are going to be able to meet them. When you first bring your dog home, it’s advised to continue feeding them the same food that they have been used to so far, either with the breeder or rescue centre, but you might want to consider a diet change, such as switching to a raw food diet, for them in the future. Consider Bella & Duke for raw dog food. The healthy dog food from Bella & Duke is expertly tailored to your dog to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients that they need for optimal health and comes in pre-packaged meals that can easily be frozen for later.
Consider your current lifestyle and how it is going to fit in with a dog. If you work long hours and aren’t at home for most of the day, the last thing that you want is for your dog to be home alone from dawn till dusk and bored out of their mind. You will need to consider how you are going to make sure that your dog is cared for and entertained when you are not there to do it; thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from including doggy daycare centres, home-based dog sitters, and dog walkers who’ll make sure that your pooch is given all the love they need while you’re busy.
Consider the type of holidays that you like to go on and how your dog is going to fit in. if you prefer to travel at home in the UK or go on a lot of caravan holidays where dogs are welcomed, this might not be so much of a bother. But on the other hand, if you often travel abroad, taking your dog with you might be more of a hassle. You will need to have a plan in place for how you are going to make sure that your dog is well taken care of when you are on holiday. There are plenty of options including boarding kennels, home-based dog sitters who’ll look after your home at the same time, or simply leaving the dog with a trusted friend or family member.
Your Future Plans:
Of course, nobody can tell exactly what the future is going to hold, but it’s important to carefully consider your future plans and decide if a dog is going to be the best fit for you. For example, if you know that you want to move abroad and start a new life in another country in the near future, getting a dog now might only make things more difficult for you when the time comes to put your plan in action, and it might be better to wait until you have done that before you consider adding a canine addition to your life. On the other hand, if you are quite settled where you are and have no intention of moving, you could provide the perfect stable home for a dog.
Getting a dog is a big commitment of your time, energy, money, and emotions that you’ll need to be prepared for before you bring a pooch home.