Having a pet can be rewarding, but there are times when a dog might not be the best choice for you. If you are considering getting a dog, there are specific questions you need to answer honestly and things you should consider, before you make the final decision.
There are so many different breeds of dog out there; it makes it easier to find one that will fit in with your lifestyle. You need to avoid inadvertently going for the wrong breed as this can end up with you having to surrender your dog to rescue. Some dogs are super high energy and need loads of exercise, others are brilliant couch potatoes and are happy with a stroll around the block. If you are a keen jogger, a high energy dog may suit you well. If you are a busy parent that only walks to school twice a day, you may want something less energy but also consider whether this is a good time for you to have a dog.
Are you committed?
Even when you rescue an older dog, you are unlikely to get an animal that is perfectly trained to fit in with your family. Owning a dog is a big commitment, and you need to be prepared to put in the time to train with your dog so it can learn what you consider correct behaviours. Toilet training, for example, is hard work and even worse in certain breeds chihuahuas, another toy breeds can be quite diva-like about going outside in the rain. If you are not prepared to put up with the occasional accident, this may not be the right dog for you. In some cases, you may need to consider professional training which will be an additional cost. You need to decide if this is something you’re prepared to invest in.
The price you pay to buy a puppy is not the end of your spending commitment by a long way. Your dog will need ongoing care, even if it is very healthy. You will need to treat your dog for fleas and worms regularly, provide food, toys, and other basic needs. You also need to consider whether you’re going to insure your dog as vet treatment can become very expensive very quickly. Some breeds are also more prone to certain conditions than others, for example, Labradors can often suffer from hip dysplasia, and these operations can be quite costly if you’re not insured. Remember, insurance will not cover any pre-existing condition that your dog has suffered.
Finally, you should consider your lifestyle. If you work long 9-hour days, it is not fair to leave a dog alone for this long. So, either now is not the right time in your life to be getting a dog or you need to ensure that you can afford a dog walker to come and take over for you or have a friend or family member prepared to do some dog sitting. You also need to decide what you will do with your dog if you go on holiday. Kennels can be expensive, but again you may have friends and family prepared to step into the gap.