Monday, 22 August 2016

Are you really ready to own a dog?

Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding things you can do. They provide you with companionship and love you no matter what- no matter how rubbish your day has been, coming home to a wagging tail is enough to make it all better. But owning a dog is a big responsibility, and there are lots of things you should consider before taking the plunge. Here are a few things to think about.

Dogs Don’t Like Being on Their Own
Dogs are needy by nature, they don’t like being left alone for long periods. It’s possible to leave your dog alone during the day if you work full time, providing that you’re generally at home for the rest of the time. But if you are someone the loves regular travel, spontaneous nights out and weekends away then a dog won’t be your best choice of pet. It’s not fair on them, and some dogs can suffer with separation anxiety and even get destructive when left on their own. It’s fine to have dogs kennelled for an annual holiday, although they’re not likely to enjoy it much and so isn’t something you should resort to doing all the time.

Dogs Are Expensive
Getting a dog isn’t cheap, and so it’s important to be aware of the types of costs you’re likely to incur throughout their life. As puppies they will need vaccinations and vet visits, they will need neutering or spaying as they get a bit older and then will require annual booster injections every year for the rest of their life. These are not covered by pet insurance. So although pet insurance is essential (in case your dog gets injured or develops an illness) be aware that it won’t cover everything. Dogs will need regular worming and flea treatments, their food, shampoo, beds, collars, leads, ID tags, toys. They all cost money and for the most part will need to be constantly replaced too. So if money is an issue for you, you are much better off waiting to get a dog until you’re more financially secure.

Dogs Personalities Can Surprise You
When you’re looking into getting a dog, it’s important to research the breed and find out what kind of temperament and personality your pup is likely to have. But while breed can be an indication of temperament in some cases, your dog’s personality can completely surprise you. Just like people they are all different, and when you bring that puppy home you never quite know what you’re going to get. Dogs can develop behavioural problems and phobias, they can become aggressive to people or other animals for no apparent reason despite your best efforts. While good socialisation early on can help prevent these problems from occurring, before you know it it can be too late and be a serious issue. Even the best dog owners can have dogs that suffer with these kinds of problems. And so having a lot of patience and the willingness to take them to puppy classes or one on one training is a must. Hopefully it will never come to that, but be aware that your sweet puppy can become quite a handful as they grow up. And so you’ll need to do all you can to correct these problems, in order for your pooch to be happy and content.

While these things sound negative, don’t be put off if you feel that you are ready for a dog (and can provide a stable and loving home). It’s important to not go in with rose tinted glasses, and to be aware of the kinds of costs and problems you may encounter. That way you can be prepared for what’s to come, and be the best dog owner possible.

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