Are you thinking about bringing a dog into the family home? This can be extremely exciting although it does have its challenges and considerations.
Disclaimer: the purpose of this article is not to put a negative spin on owning a dog, quite the opposite. We all know the pleasures that come with owning a dog – this article is intended to highlight some questions that may not have been answered prior to obtaining your lovable companion.
Naturally the first question is that are you dedicated to giving your canine friend a loving home for life? It is a cliche but a dog really is for life and not something that should be considered when making an impulse purchase.
Below are a few questions that you should ask yourself before going ahead.
What are your true motives for wanting a dog?
Always make sure that your motives for owning a dog are the correct ones. For example are you wanting to give love and companionship to your dog as well as receive it. Setting your own expectations are very important to ensuring that you and your new dog have a long and loving relationship.
Have you considered the financial side of owning a dog?
While your wealth certainly shouldn’t be the deciding factor of owning a dog you should take a realistic look at your finances to ensure that you will be covered for any unexpected costs as well as the day to day costs of being a dog owner.
Recent research by the PDSA found that 98% of pet owners underestimated the lifetime costs. A rough true cost of owning a dog is between £21,000 and £33,000 depending on size and breed. With dogs generally living for 10-13 years, that adds up to £2,000 or more a year. Certainly food for thought.
What is your usual schedule? Do you have time to care for a dog?
You should make sure that you have enough time in your current daily routine to accomodate a dog, or have enough flexibility in it to be able to change to meet the dogs needs.
Exercise, grooming and feeding your dog all takes time – not to mention ensuring you have time to bond with your dog.
Do you have an experience with dog and there behaviour?
Of course, we are not suggesting if you haven’t had a dog before then you shouldn’t look to get one however if you have a basic understanding of the dogs needs and different emotional states you will be in a better position to make a decision on whether owning a dog is right for you.
For example leaving your dog outside all day may not be the best for the dog and could lead to them being distressed or unhappy – some dogs the opposite. It pays to do your homework on the dog breeds you are looking at.
Are you patient?
If you are looking at getting a puppy? If so, you need to be prepared to invest the time into training your dog. Toilet training your dog and teaching the house rules can be very time consuming and often requires a high level of patience.
An older dog that is already trained may be more appropriate for you if you think the above is going to be an issue.
Is your home secure indoors and out?
Ensuring that the dog has somewhere safe to roam is very important. If you have a garden that is open and has direct access to outside the property for example may not be ideal and you may have to look at securing the area.
Some dogs are great at climbing, others good at digging so this is another consideration. You may need to look at purchasing a dog kennel.
Do you have other animals already?
You may already have a dog that is of a great nature and will take to a puppy no problem. You may however have a dog that is very territorial and may not take well to a new dog sharing it’s space.
Bringing a new dog into the home can be stressful to some dogs that already reside with you. Keep this in mind when looking at taking on a new canine.
Likewise you may have other animals such as cats, how will this impact the new dog and the current animals in the home?
What breed should you look to get?
We recently wrote a blog post on choosing the right dog which you can view here.
What does your future look like?
None of us can read the future although most of us do know what we plan to do in the medium to long term future. For example if you are thinking of having a baby, moving cities or any other big life changes, how will having a dog impact on this? Will you still be able to provide a loving and caring home for the dog?
Finally, owning a dog can be bring of the most loving and rewarding relationships you will ever have in your life. Ensuring that you consider the above just ensures that you are making the right decision for both you and the dog.
If you would like to speak to a member of our team or would like impartial advice from our dog loving team, contact us here and we will be happy to help.