Dog Ownership – Think Twice

At Pets Corner we have a motto – Think Twice. We encourage all prospective pet parents to take a moment and think twice before taking the plunge into pet ownership. Whether it is a little cute fluffy hamster or a pooch, buying or rescuing a pet is a big decision and should be thought through thoroughly.  For the sake of the animal, if you are not 100% sure that you or your family will be able to give a pet the attention, care and lifestyle they deserve, then please don’t buy one.

A new puppy or dog can make a fantastic pet. They have their own unique personalities and are famously loyal. If raised properly you’ll have a friend for life, and, more importantly a new member of the family! Buying and owning a puppy can bring many rewards into your life but caring for and playing with one can be very time consuming. It is important to ask yourself some questions and take the time to answer them honestly.

Is Your Home Suitable for a Puppy?

Your puppy needs space to move about, local exercise areas or parks, and secure safe areas for play. Consider your home and where you live – can you easily adapt to having a dog in the home? Will they have the space and exercise opportunities they deserve?

Are You Able to Spend Time with Your Puppy?

If you will be out of the house for long periods of time nearly every day, your pup may become lonely, bored, and mischievous. Dogs are sociable animals, and we would not recommend leaving them for more than 4 hours a day. Dogs also require daily exercise and play. Some dogs need much more than others and a dog that is properly exercised, is much better behaved and will be a happier healthier pup overall.

Can You Afford a Dog?

Not only will you have to set aside around £50 a month for food, treats etc, but there is also

bedding, training aids, flea and worm controls, monthly insurance costs, as well as kennel fees to account for throughout the year. Vet’s bills can easily exceed £100 in times of trouble, and even regular health checks and vaccinations soon add up. It is unlikely you will be able to meet all the care needs of a dog for less than £50 a month, so your household budget and spending abilities should be considered carefully before deciding to become a dog owner.  Remember our canine friends live a long time too, so you will need to be financially prepared for potentially 12+ years of care.

Which Breed or Type?

There are many considerations that should be taken into account before deciding on which breed is best for you. It is important before you go and buy/or rescue a puppy to think about the level of activity you are prepared to give your pup and the dog it will become. Some breeds and types of dog need more exercise than others and may have specific health needs to consider.

Research and Read Up

Research is the most important thing when deciding to get a puppy or a dog. You should investigate their personality traits, mental and physical exercise needs, coat types and needs, as well as the type of lifestyle your preferred breed of dog suits best before making a decision.

By researching and learning as much about the potential breed of dog/puppy you are looking to own will give you an overview of things to consider that are specific to that breed.

• Breed suitability – Do you have other smaller pets such as cats, rabbits, or hamsters? Then a sight hound is not for you, driven by instinct these breed types are often unsuitable to live in a home with other, smaller furrier pets.

• Grooming needs – Think about the type of coat the dog may have. Will it shed, will it require a lot of grooming, or will it require professional clipping and/or grooming? Some breeds require extensive home grooming every day AND regular professional grooms to keep their coats healthy and prevent matts.

• Health Needs – Find out about the health issues related to the breed you are interested in. For example, is this type of dog prone to skin disease or joint problems? This may impact your insurance options and premiums and potentially affect the food options and lifelong care considerations required.

• Family life – Investigate the types of dogs that are most suitable for your family life and situation. Do you have small children that could be easily knocked over by a large and exuberant puppy in training, perhaps a giant breed pup isn’t the best match?

If you decide that you have the time and ability to care for a new pet, Pets Corner are here to help you. Find out more here.