Thinking about getting a dog?
Dogs can encourage a healthy lifestyle, are great companions and are always there for a cuddle. But getting a dog is not as simple as getting a new phone or ornament. They require hard work, patience, attention and a fair amount of your time. Here's a few things to consider before getting a dog.
1. Do you have the time to take care of a dog?
Many people will say that if you work full time, you shouldn't get a dog. We wholeheartedly disagree with this. Dogs are not the sole resource of rich, retired, unemployed or work from home folk.
However, you do need to keep in mind the welfare of your dog if you are out the house a lot throughout the day.
There are professional dog walkers who will come and spend time with your dog throughout the day, or ddoggy daycare where they can spend their days with other pups. Do keep in mind the costs associated with these, but also consider alternative options. Can you get home at lunchtime to walk the dog instead? Do you have friends, family or trusted neighbours nearby who would like to help out?
A dog is a huge responsibility, and not something you can ignore for hours on end, which brings us to our next question:
2. What breed of dog is best for your lifestyle?
We all have our favourite breeds of dogs, from little Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to ma-hu-sive Bernese Mountain Dogs. But if you live in a tiny flat, a large dog is probably not right for you - that much is obvious. But it’s not all just about space.
Think about how much exercise a dog will need. If you can only afford an hour a day, this will mean only a specific range of dogs would be suitable for you, compared to if you are out and about all day with a dog getting hours of exercise all the time.
Some dogs will generally need more exercise throughout the day - sometimes two, three or more walks. Do you have the time, and can you realistically commit to this for the next decade?
A dog that doesn’t get enough exercise quickly becomes what people regard as a “problem” dog, as it starts racing around the house, ripping carpets and howling. This destructive behaviour can be the result of not enough exercise and stimulation, and is the fault of the owner, not the dog. Plan carefully your situation now, and in the future, to ensure your dog doesn't develop any separation anxiety.
Speaking of which..
4. Are you planning any major life changes in the next decade?
We all want our dogs to live forever (as cute fluffy pets, not dog zombies, just to be clear). Hopefully, your dog will be your best pal for at least a decade - can you be a best pal back?
A decade is a long time, but can you commit to offering a home for your dog for that long? Not planning any round the world trips, or anything?
We hear stories of dogs handed in because the owner’s new girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever doesn’t like dogs.
Personally, I’d rather find a new girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever, but if you think you could so easily give up something that adores you, should you really get one at all?
We all move home, but what if you move somewhere that you can’t take your dog? Is it worth waiting until you can offer a more stable home environment?
Are you planning on having kids? If so, congratulations! There’s no reason not to take on a dog, but again, remember point three that even with a li’l ol’ baby, your dog will still need all those walks and attention. Can you afford that?
5. Puppy or rescue?
There are thousands of dogs up and down the country who don’t have a home anymore, and are currently in shelters, rescue homes and foster homes. Perhaps you can help one find a forever home?
Some rescues specialise in specific breeds, and some focus on re-homing animals from other countries. These are fantastic options when looking for a new dog, and staff at the homes should be able to advise you one what particular dogs would suit your needs.
We’ve previously discussed the dangers of puppy farms, but buying a puppy is still a valid option, so long as you go to a respected breeder that you trust. As ever, make sure you get to see the puppy’s parents, make sure they are all living in a happy environment and being cared for.
Perhaps there are some Facebook groups you can join where you could get breeder recommendations, and even get some advice about the breed you are interested in before getting one.
6. What are you going to do when you are on holiday?
Many people feel that once they have a dog, they have to either stay at home all year, or only go to dog friendly places.
Well we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to!
There are many boarding options available to you, but of course, we’d love for your dog to stay with us here at Happy Home Dog Boarding!
Get in touch with us to chat about taking your small dog whilst you jet off to the sun.
Find out more about us here, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get a feel of what we’re about!