Dogs are wonderful companions. It’s not all too surprising that they are such popular pets! They’re warm, loving, loyal, cute, and entertaining. But if you are considering getting a dog, it’s also important to remember that they are not a sheer novelty. They are living, breathing, sentient beings, and you are going to have to make sure that you meet all of their needs and requirements and provide them with a high quality of life for the duration of their lifetime. So, what should you take into consideration before setting your heart on a particular pup? Here are some areas to focus on!
If you have a dog, you’re going to have to ensure that they have access to all of the veterinary care that they need. You should head to your local veterinarian’s and check out price lists for essentials that your dog will need as they grow. Puppies will need to have a full check up including microchipping, worming, flea treatments, and immunisations. Regular worming and flea treatments will have to continue throughout your dog’s life. You may also want to consider having your dog sterilised. Your vet can castrate a male dog or spay a female dog. There are various reasons to do this. Firstly, it prevents any unwanted puppies. Secondly, it can help to improve your pooch’s behaviour and prevent illnesses or diseases from developing as they grow older. These are the absolute basics. Besides this, you can never know whether the pup you choose will eventually have good health or have health complications. You commit to them regardless and need to ensure that you can provide them with whatever veterinary care they need for their entire life.
Let’s follow up veterinary care with something that covers veterinary care financially – insurance. As we have established, veterinary care for your pooch is absolutely essential and, as with most things that are essential, it can prove to be extremely expensive. Every pet owner should have an insurance policy for their pet. This ensures that if your pet experiences illness or an accident, you can afford the treatment that they require to get back onto the road to recovery. You shouldn’t ever let yourself get into the situation where you might have to let your pet be put to sleep because you can’t afford their care, when they could stand a good fighting chance if only the funding were available. Just bear in mind that insurance policies can be pretty expensive and have a relatively high monthly premium. Some breeds cost more to insure than others due to hereditary and common illnesses within different types of dog. Your pet’s insurance will also go up with their age.
Every breed of dog needs a certain amount of exercise. This allows them to stay fit, healthy, and in shape. Besides these essentials, it’s good for your dog’s mental health too – it gives them something to look forward to and allows them to explore the outside world and engage with other people, dogs, sights, sounds, and smells too! Look into the specific requirements of any breed you are interested in bringing into your life and make sure that you can adhere to them. Dogs that require a lot of exercise include:
- Australian Shepherds
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retrievers
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks
- Border Collies
If you’re active and happy to get out a lot, one of these dogs could be perfect for you. If you’re less enthusiastic about exercise, you might want to consider a dog that requires less. Some ideal breeds could include:
- Basset Hounds
- Chow Chows
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- French Bulldogs
It is absolutely essential that you do your research! If you are unable to walk a dog, but still desperately want one, don’t worry. You could always hire someone to walk your canine companion. Just make sure that this is something that you can afford.
Almost everyone has to head away from home every once in a while. Whether you are heading on vacation, need to attend a wedding or other event that’s far from home and requires you to stay out overnight, or whether you have work commitments that you require to travel. This is all fine. But if you have a dog, you’re going to have to take their needs into consideration too! You really should not leave your dog unattended for extended periods of time. They are dependent on us and you need to make sure that they are safe, well, and all of their needs are being met. So, consider whether you will be able to find and afford boarding for a pet every time you have to stay out overnight or stay away from home a little longer. There are options out there. You can Put your dog in a boarding kennel or leave them with reliable family or friends. But generally, it’s going to cost you a fair bit of money and you’re going to have to spend time vetting where your pet will be staying and ensuring that everyone knows your pooch’s individual needs and preferences.
Some dogs don’t really require regular grooming. You will merely have to give them a bath every once in a while when they happen to get particularly mucky. But other dogs will require regular grooming and chances are that you will have to leave this in the hands of a professional who has the right knowledge, experience, technique, and equipment to get the job done to a high standard. Dogs who generally require grooming tend to include long haired breeds, curly haired breeds, and breeds that do not malt. Breeds who fall into this category include:
- Bichon Frises
- Afghan Hounds
- Portuguese Water Dogs
Make sure to get quotes on grooming costs, as well as recommendations on how regularly these dogs would need to be groomed to figure out whether you can realistically afford this.
These, of course, are just a few areas to draw into consideration. There are plenty more – food, treats, bedding, teeth cleaning… the list goes on and on. Essentially, you just need to be responsible when becoming a pet owner and ensure that you can meet all of your dogs needs before welcoming them into your life.