Who doesn’t love dogs? They are cute, friendly and, when it comes to pets, are probably one of the best companions you could ever ask for. However, owning a dog is also a huge chance that can impact your social life, family life, and bank balance!
If you are thinking of getting a dog, there are several things you need to consider first.
How Much Does A Dog Cost?
The cost of a dog can vary drastically depending upon the breed. Many dogs can cost thousands of dollars so before you set your heart on a specific dog, find out the price tag first! It would be a real shame if you couldn’t wait to invite an adorable puppy into your new home only to find out that it’s unaffordable.
If money could pose an issue, why not visit your local dog shelter. It’s a great way to gain a pet and give a dog the chance of a wonderful life.
A Reputable Breeder
When buying a dog from a breeder, it’s wise to find out what credentials they have. Many people breed dogs illegally, so don’t just purchase from the first person you come across or without asking questions first.
Where you live will make a difference to the documentation that breeders are duty-bound to provide, so find out the regulations in your area and ask whatever questions you deem necessary. Many people have purchased dogs only to be scammed or find out it has a hereditary illness, so it pays to do some research before taking the plunge.
The initial outlay for a dog is not the only thing you need to shell out for. As well as food, bedding, and other accessories, you need to consider things like vet bills and insurance. Although you can pay for medical care when it’s needed, this can end up being excessive, so it’s probably a good idea to take some form of insurance. Insurance cover will vary, so always read the small print.
According to dog bite lawyers Lamber Goodnow, it is possible to pursue claims against dog owners under negligence laws, so it’s worth checking whether your insurance covers you for liability if your dog bites someone. Depending on the severity of the bite, you may have to shell out thousands which most people cannot afford. Insurance will give you peace of mind that should an accident happen, you will be covered.
Who Will Look After The Dog?
If you work out of the home every day, you need to figure out who will look after your dog when you are not there. The idea of having a dog may fill you with joy and excitement, but if it’s going to be left alone the majority of the time, you have to ask yourself whether that is fair.
Many breeds of dogs suffer from separation anxiety and cannot bear to be left alone for more than a few hours, so you must consider that too. If you are adamant that you want a dog regardless, find out if there are any dog walking services locally.
They can visit your home once or twice a day to collect your pet and give it the exercise and the company that it needs and long for when you are not around. These services don’t come cheap, so you must factor them in when working out monthly outlays.
Training Your Puppy
Many people liken a puppy to having another baby, so you need to be prepared to put in lots of work. It may pee all over your floor, chew your furniture, and get up to mischief, but with the correct training, it shouldn’t last too long.
If you aren’t sure where to start, you may benefit from having a professional dog trainer visit your home or find out if there are any puppy classes locally that can help. The earlier your dog learns what’s right and what is wrong, the easier life should be.
What Will Your Dog Eat?
There are hundreds of different dog foods and treats on the market these days, so it’s worth researching what may work best for your dog and your budget. From organic wet food pouches to tinned dog food the choice is pretty extensive, and you may find it a bit of a minefield at first. To narrow it down, it’s a good idea to work out how much you can afford to spend and take it from there.
It is also important to know what foods to avoid giving your dog as many can be very dangerous. Chocolate, for example, is extremely harmful to dogs, so do the research and make sure your whole family (including your children) are aware of the dangers.
How Many Exercises Are You Prepared To Do?
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to exercise. If you enjoy walking up the hills at the weekend, for example, a German shorthaired pointer or a lab retriever might be a good choice. If, on the other hand, you prefer a leisurely stroll around the park once a day, a Cavapoo or a Yorkshire terrier might be your preferred option.
Do as much research and you can, and make sure that the dog’s needs are well suited to your lifestyle and exercise regime. If a dog is not provided with the exercise it needs, it can become overweight, which may lead to heart problems or other illnesses.
Many people don’t consider the full impact a dog can have on every aspect of their life, so it’s a decision you should take your time over. Do your research, talk to friends or family who already have a dog to find out the positives and the negatives, and be 100% sure before you go ahead.
Dogs make fabulous pets and can also be very tying, but if you think things through properly, you won’t go far wrong.