It is common to see a puppy and instantly decide you can’t live without one. They have hacked our brain to make us want to care for them! But it is essential to fight the urge and consider rationally if you should get a dog. Remember this is a commitment that can easily last 15 years or more – while being a puppy may only last 12 months. Every year lots of dogs are given as gifts and once the responsibility of being a pet parent sets in – many are given up for adoption. Check out this video from Dogs Trust in the UK that tries to explain why dogs are not Christmas presents. They received over 4500 calls within a month of Christmas with people wanting to surrender their new pup.
Make sure you consider these points before deciding to add a pooch to your life.
A few of the many benefits of having a dog
- Dogs are great company and can help your mental health, and reduce stress
- they can help make connections and build community
- Dogs can help with your fitness and develop a routine, and help kids learn about responsibility.
- They are cute, cuddly, and are just the best!
But make sure you consider the costs of getting a dog
There are a lot of costs to both time and money of getting a dog. You need to consider all these factors before you make your decision to add a dog to your family.
The purchase price of rescue might be $300 or a designer, or pure breed puppy can be into the thousands. That is just the purchase price, not the collars, leads, beds, toys, treats, food, training classes or anything else you will want to spoil your pup. Ongoing costs will vary a lot based on the breed but remember the food, treats, toys, and vet checkup & vaccinations, as well as possibly grooming, dog walkers, pet sitters or doggy daycare. The significant financial impact will come if your pup has any serious health problems, accidents or emergencies. These can be very expensive, and many people are now choosing to get pet insurance to try to reduce this impact.
Getting a new dog whether a puppy or adult requires a substantial time commitment. You really should take a week to help your dog settle into their new home. For a puppy, you should also expect your sleep to be disrupted for a couple of months. There will also be walk times with poop scooping, training and grooming. We have breed dogs to love spending time with us. Think about how long you are away from home each day, how often you have to travel and try to convince your workplace to be dog-friendly. Remember that it is also a long-term commitment, maybe 15 years or more.
Knowledge & support
It is vital that you make sure you learn a lot about caring for a dog before you get one. It is much easier to train a dog from the start then to inadvertently train the wrong behaviour and then have to correct it. If you have not been the primary adult carer for a pup before then, you should get reading. Make sure your entire family is on board with the decision to get a dog. It will also help if you have family or friends that can help you care for your pup if you are busy, away or sick.
Home & Health
Make sure your home is suitable for a dog and remember that different breeds will have different needs. Consider the size, and type of property, the security of any outside areas, and the safety of inside areas. If you want a pristine home, probably get a goldfish instead! Try to check that all family members don’t have allergies to dogs as well.
There are so many benefits to adding a dog to your life. To be a responsible pet parent, it is essential to know what sort of time, money and lifestyle commitment you are making- before you decide on getting a new dog. And please…..don’t get a dog with the hope it will be insta famous!
Next article in the series is to Rescue or Not? Coming next week!