Dogs are popular for good reason. They’re great companions. They’re great entertainment. They’re a great source of love and support. But it’s absolutely essential for anyone considering getting a dog to remember that they are sentient beings who will rely on you for absolutely everything for the duration of their lives. When you get a dog, you’re going to have to make sure you can meet all of their needs and more for a time period that generally spans between 12 and 18 years, but could potentially continue even longer. It’s quite the commitment and is hugely rewarding, but you need to be sure you can definitely make it before you get a pooch. Many people underestimate the amount of care that goes into being a dog owner. Here are a few areas you should take into consideration before getting a puppy or adopting!
Covering Veterinary Care and Insurance
The first thing we really need to emphasise is that all dogs – even healthy dogs – require regular veterinary care and veterinary care doesn’t come cheap. If you decide to get a puppy, you’ll have to register them with a registered, high quality vet and ensure they get a full puppy check up. This will generally incorporate processes such as microchipping, worming, flea treatments, and immunisations. Not long after, the majority of people opt to have their pets sterilised. This is for a number of reasons. Not only can it encourage better behaviour, but it also helps to prevent situations resulting in unwanted puppies, many later life illnesses and issues such as phantom pregnancies in female dogs. Following this, your dog will need regular worming and flea treatments through the duration of their life, as well as annual booster immunisations. This is before you consider the fact that you can never predict the future. You also need to be able to cover the costs of ongoing or chronic health conditions that your pet could develop or injuries that they could experience. Potential accidents or unprecedented major illnesses also mean that you absolutely have to have pet insurance if you have a dog. Major procedures or specific medication can be extremely expensive and you need to make sure you have insurance to cover the costs in these types of situations should they arise. Remember that pets’ policies often increase in price as they get older. So make sure you can afford it for the whole of your dog’s life – not just the puppy rates.
Things You Will Need to Invest In
Next, let’s look at other essentials you’ll need to purchase if you’re going to get a dog. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it should cover most of the basics.
Of course, your dog will need to eat. Now, there are plenty of options out there on the market. When you take a look around, you’ll see that dog food varies in cost and this generally reflects the quality of the final product. You want to give your pet the best of the best, but there are generally foods available for any budget. depending on quality. One thing you do need to bear in mind is that you could find your dog develops specific dietary requirements, which could up the overall cost of their food. For example, if they need to have wheat or grain free foods, you may end up having to spend a fair amount more on food for your pet.
All dogs need to be walked. Some breeds will need a lot more exercise than others, but all in all, even the most sedentary of dogs will still need at least a small walk once a day. It’s good for their health and also good for their happiness, as they get a break from the house each day. Now, the first requirement for a walk is a collar with a name tag. This will help to identify your pet should they somehow get lost. The nametag you choose should be big enough to have all of your contact details printed onto it. Generally, engraved tags are best, as the name and number will stay visible for longer. It’s worth investing in a good and comfortable collar for your pet, as it is something that they will wear every single day. You want it to fit well and not rub. When you take your dog for a walk, you can walk them with their lead attached to their collar. But this isn’t the safest option and – at the end of the day – your dog’s safety is paramount. All dogs, no matter how big or small, should have a harness of some sort.This makes walking much more comfortable, as they won’t be pulled from their neck, and safer, as you’ll have more control over your pet. In terms of safety, your dog is also a lot less likely to slip out of their harness than they are their collar, preventing them getting off and running away or into a road. When it comes to leads, stretchy leads are a good option, as they give your dog more freedom to walk, but ensures you still have control over them. You shouldn’t ever walk your dog off the lead at any time, no matter how well trained they may be.
Clean Up Services
Of course, you can scoop your dog’s poop from the garden yourself. But those who want to avoid this can benefit from the nation’s leading pooper scooper service.
Most dogs are self-grooming which means they shed fur and don’t need to have their hair cut. But many non-shedding breeds are now very popular. These dogs, who often have curly or fluffy fur, will require regular grooming. This will make sure their fur is always in good shape, that they don’t suffer from knots or tangles and that they aren’t overgrown and too hot. Professional grooming is a relatively large outgoing to commit to – especially if you’re planning on getting more than one dog. So, consider this cost before choosing a dog with longer or curlier fur.
Choosing the Right Dog
Now, a big factor in how people choose the dog they want is generally how they look. People like how particular breeds look and will opt for them. But you really need to put more thought into your choice. Have a good look into the following areas first!
Know Your Breeds
Different dog breeds have been bred for different purposes. This means most have in-bred traits in regards to energy, behaviour and character. A certain dog may look great, but not fit in at all with your lifestyle. Let’s have a look at some examples. Border collies are bred as working dogs, which means they have a lot of energy and will be highly intelligent. They only suit homes that can provide them with a lot of exercise and consistent entertainment to keep them occupied. They will need to play a lot. Bichon frises were bred as lap dogs for French royalty. They’re happy with company, so aren’t pets for you if you work an office job where you’re out of the house from 9 to 5. Research any breed you’re interested in to make sure they match your lifestyle well.
These are just a few things to consider when getting a dog. You can’t make this decision lightly. So, don’t rush into things and make sure you are absolutely certain in your choice before taking a dog on. They’re for life!