We all know that dogs are beautiful little creatures that warm our hearts. But what some dog lovers don’t know is just how much time and money is needed when they commit to getting a dog. You might have to say goodbye to weekends away and you will definitely have to say hello to daily walks as you take your dog out of the house to exercise on a daily basis. Getting a new dog should never be a spontaneous decision. It is a commitment that will shape the next decade of your life, so here are the things to consider before you decide to be a new dog owner!
You’ll need to do your research
You might think that a German Shepherd is a majestic dog and a pug is totally adorable, but that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and buy one. Many dogs are regularly dropped off at dog shelters with no one to give them a home and they end up being put down. This is because many of the people who choose to get a new dog don’t understand the importance of knowing the personality traits and behaviours of a specific dog breed. Huskis for example, are regularly left in shelters because owners are not aware of the amount of exercise and attention required. Research is paramount to your decision about getting a dog. You need to know what traits a dog breed has and most importantly, choose a dog that has a behaviour that matches your lifestyle. Not all dogs are the same, so take the time to learn more first if you’re not too sure.
You’ll need to commit your time
Having a dog is similar to having a child, if not nearly the same. You need to be prepared to treat your new dog like a newborn baby. Dogs need to be walked once and often multiple times per day. It takes hours each day to look after your dog through training and exercising but the extra time you spend with your dog will be worth it in the long run. If you don’t have this kind of spare time to spend with your dog, then you should reconsider whether you should be getting a dog at all. This is a sacrifice that you’ll need to make.
You’ll need to spend lots of money on taking care of them
Just as you would brush your hair and teeth everyday, your pooch will require the same. You’ll need to clip your dog’s nails and bathe them regularly. There are no exceptions to this. If you don’t look after the health of your dog, not only will they be unwell or uncomfortable, you’ll be forking out extra money to pay for vet and grooming bills. You should trim their nails so they don’t get too long, break or get snagged on things, which can hurt your dog.
Be prepared to fork out thousands of dollars over time for your dog in medical bills. You don’t want to contribute to the millions of dogs around the world that are left homeless at a shelter so be sure to have your dog spayed. Dental healthcare, micro-chipping, tagging, the prevention of diseases, worms, fleas and general health check-ups are all a part of being an owner and there are no exceptions to this. Maintaining your dog’s grooming and health is paramount to their contentment and happiness, so don’t forget to look after them.
You’ll need to train them
Dog training is far more than just teaching your dog tricks and commands. Many people see dog training as a luxury expenditure for dog owners when in fact, training your dog is something that is critical and needs to be done more than once. Your dog needs to understand how to live successfully in a home environment and an external environment. Through training, you can help reduce unwanted behaviours such as destructive chewing, inappropriate parking and being aggressive. Through different classes, your dog can learn how to greet people without jumping all over them, keep stress levels at bay or reduce signs of anxiety and fear.
It’s also incredibly important to increase your dog’s socialising skills to avoid them engaging in any unwanted or aggressive behaviour. Dogs are meant to be social so make sure you allow your pooch to live the life they were meant to live! It is also important to remember that training is not just an occasional thing you do with your dog—it is something you’ll need to do every day. Obedience, like any other skill, needs to be practiced, not just taught. Just as you need to keep practicing learning another language or training in a sport, your dog needs that too. Treat your dog the way that you would like to be treated and they will love you forever!