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5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Family Dog

Dogs can be the perfect family pet. They’re friendly, loving, loyal, entertaining and great companions. But you also need to bear in mind that dogs aren’t just a novelty you can pick up and let down as and when suits you and your family. They are living, breathing, sentient beings with wants and needs and you need to make sure you and your family can meet those needs and give your pooch a high quality of life before you bring one home.

Here are five essentials that you’ll need to provide your pup with to make sure that they have a happy and healthy life.

Veterinary Care

Veterinary care is an absolute essential for any pet. When you get a puppy, you’ll find that they need to have a full checkup, which can include a general health check, microchipping, worming, flea treatments, and other immunizations. As your dog grows older, they’ll still have to head to the vet’s for regular health checks and you will have to watch out for worms and fleas forever. You may also want to consider procedures such as spaying or neutering to prevent potential health complications or unwanted puppies.

Insurance

In many cases, to afford veterinary care, you’ll want to take out pet insurance. Sure, you may be able to afford the treatments and medications mentioned above out of your own pocket. But you never know when problems can arise or disaster may strike, and you owe it to your pet to ensure you can cover the costs of any major, ongoing, or emergency veterinary treatment they may need. Ask any pet owner: This can prove to be extremely expensive and the majority of us rely on insurance to cover the costs. Remember that insurance costs will almost definitely go up as your dog ages, so you need to make sure you’ll be able to afford increases in the future, as well as the current cost of your policy premium.

Training

All dogs need to be trained. This can include house training, socialization with other dogs, and socialization with children or other animals. You can take this into your own hands, or you can attend dog obedience training sessions or classes. Either way, it’ll take time, effort and persistence.

Exercise

Every dog needs exercise. The amount of exercise they need will largely depend on their breed, with some dogs needing a lot and others needing less. Ideally, you should have a garden that can accommodate your pooch’s antics – a space for them to run around and play in. You will also need to take them on a walk once a day.

Grooming

Some dogs shed their fur and keep on top of their coats naturally. However, others do not shed and consequently require more grooming. This can prove costly. You’ll either have to send them to a professional groomers or train in dog grooming yourself and invest in the equipment you need to do this at home.

These are just a few essentials you’ll need to take into consideration before getting a dog. You’ll also have to make time for them and ensure they can be looked after when you take breaks or holidays. Just put plenty of thought into the process. You need to make sure you’re prepared to take on this big responsibility!