Dogs can prove to be the perfect family pet. They’re most often 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 as and when suits you and your family. They are living, breathing, sentient beings with wants and needs. You need to make sure you can meet all of their needs and give your pooch a high quality of life before you take one on. Here are a few need to knows before you take the leap.
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 need regular health checks. You may also want to consider procedures such as castration or spaying to prevent potential health complications or unwanted puppies.
To afford veterinary care, you’re going to need an insurance plan. Sure, you may be able to afford the treatments and medication in the short term, but you never know when issues may 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. Remember that insurance costs will almost definitely go up as your dog ages, so you need to make sure you will be able to afford increases in the future, as well as the current cost of your policy premium.
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.
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.
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 need to send them to a professional groomer or train in dog grooming yourself and invest in the necessary equipment.
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 and make sure you’re prepared to take on this big responsibility!