Getting a new family pet can be a very exciting time, a dog can bring so much joy and pleasure to your life and truly becomes part of the family. That said a dog can also be a great responsibility with numerous challenges throughout its lifetime. Sadly for some families, this can result in abandonment and dogs being given up for adoption. To ensure you are clued up on the reality of owning a dog here are some essential things you should know before undertaking the commitment.
A dog is for life
The maxim is well known but surprisingly not always understood. A dog is a lifetime commitment and a dog’s lifespan is typically around 13 years. That said a dog’s lifespan can vary from anything between 10 to 17 years. That is a long commitment that you need to be prepared for.
Know your breed
Different breeds have different characteristics, traits, health concerns, and lifestyle preferences. It is important that you understand the nuisances of the dog you are considering. For example, some dogs need higher levels of activity and exercise than others, so you need to be confident that your lifestyle will fit with that of your dog’s lifestyle and their needs. Another consideration to make is whether you intend to expand your family or need a dog that is ‘family friendly’. Varying breeds can have varying temperaments and this is an important consideration to make should there be children in the home.
A dog is not only a lifetime commitment it is a lifetime expense and it can be quite an expensive expense. The cost of buying a dog alone has risen dramatically over the last few years and that is only just the beginning. You will need to be sure you can afford the ongoing living costs of having a dog, which can include some of the following:
- Insurance. Pet insurance is a great way to help protect you from unexpected or expensive medical bills.
- Medical bills. These can be extremely costly.
- Grooming costs.
- Miscellaneous items, such as dog beds, chew toys, and water bowls.
- Kennels or other paid-for dog sitting services should you wish to go away and leave your pet behind.
Be mindful of where you get your dog
You should always thoroughly research the breeder or organization from where you get your dog. Dog breeders are expected to meet certain standards and legal requirements to ensure the well-being of their animals. Breeders such as ABCs Puppy Zs are a great example of what to look for when researching breeders.
Pet proofing your home
Much like bringing a child into your home, having a dog will change your home forever. You will need to ensure that it is ‘pet-proof’ so that both your dog and furniture remain safe. All toxic products should be removed out of reach and unsafe apparatus such as blind cords should be tidied away. You may also want to consider protecting expensive furniture.