Are you ready for a dog?

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Are you ready for a dog?

Post by Eleanor on Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:57 pm

Before getting a dog, the first thing you should do is determine whether or not you are able to take care of this dog. The following factors need to be considered:

  • Money – dogs can be very expensive, not just to purchase, but to take care of. Food, grooming supplies, veterinary care, insurance, toys and bedding can all mount up to a lot of money. Veterinary care is extremely important; if you’re not sure whether or not you can afford to pay very expensive vet bills, a dog may not be suitable for you at this point in time.

  • Space – do you have enough space for your dog? If you live in a tiny, cramped house, obviously a large dog would not do very well in such an environment. Dogs should also preferably have access to a garden, particularly puppies, which do not have full control of their bladders and may need to be taken outside roughly every hour.

  • Time – will you be able to spend enough time with your dog, playing, socialising, exercising and grooming? If you work for eight hours every day, do you have anybody who can stop by your house to allow your dog toilet breaks and socialisation? Dogs are very social animals and, when left for long periods of time daily, can become very withdrawn, frustrated and destructive. If your present circumstances mean that the dog will be left alone regularly for more than five or six hours, it will be better to wait until you can spend the right amount of time with him.

  • Patience – will you be able to persevere with training and regular exercise? No dog is the same as another; some may be easy to train, while others are extremely stubborn and may need a lot of patience in order to train them. Dogs also need a lot of exercise, split into two or three walks per day. Depending on the age, breed and health of the dog, he may need up to three hours of exercise each day, plus off-lead play.

  • Life-long commitment – dogs can live anywhere from ten to sixteen years of age. Are you prepared to take care of this dog properly for every single day of this dog’s life? This includes feeding, training, exercising, socialising, grooming, health checking, playing and paying the expensive vet bills when something goes wrong.

If you can honestly answer ‘Yes’ to every single point mentioned above, you may be ready for a dog. If not, it is in both your and the dog’s best interests to wait until you are able to properly care for a four-legged friend.

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