Deciding to get a pet is a debate many families will have at least once. Some will start small by welcoming a pet hamster, fish, guinea pig or rabbit home. Many will likely consider either a feline or canine friend.
The UK is known for being a nation of dog lovers. A recent survey revealed just over half of the participants agreed that dogs were man’s best friend. Of course, feline friends were not that far behind. Getting a dog for the family is a common decision that many households will likely discuss.
Is your family considering getting a dog for the family? If so, here are a few questions to ask to help you with your decision.
Are We Ready For A Dog?
Start simple by asking yourself if you are ready for a dog. Bringing home a puppy can be like bringing home a newborn child. You will need to housetrain them to use the outdoors as their bathroom, not the indoors. Puppies love to chew things, so there will likely be destroyed furniture. As they will be in a new environment, away from their parents and siblings, it might take a little time for them to settle. This means that there could be a few interrupted night’s sleep.
Of course, you might not be considering a puppy and think of a rescue dog instead. Adopting a rescue dog can be a special moment as you bring them home to a loving and caring environment that some might not have experienced. Choosing to adopt a rescue dog can feel rewarding, but there might be a few obstacles along the way. For instance, it might take them a while to settle down, or they might be nervous around new people. It is essential to be patient with them to help them feel comfortable around others and to feel settled in their new home.
Can We Afford A Dog?
Going through a rescue centre or directly from a breeder, there will likely be costs involved in getting a dog. Whilst the initial cost will vary depending on certain variables, many long-term costs are involved with having a dog in the family. Buying food and treats, harnesses and leashes, dog shampoos, toys and beds. Some of these items, like toys and a bed, are items you will invest in when your dog’s old toys and bed need replacing. However, food, treats and shampoos are items you will be purchasing regularly. These are additional costs that will be added to your weekly food shop.
Vet visits can be costly, depending on the treatment that a dog needs to have. Some owners choose to take out insurance to prepare for vet visits to help with the costs of appointments and treatments. It is worth looking at providers and their options when getting a dog. For example, look at Purely Pets, which are pet insurance specialists. As for their dog insurance options, they discuss this on their website, where you can find out more about the coverage. Spending time researching insurance providers can help you decide to get a dog. It can help you with your final decision.
What Happens If We Go Away?
If you do decide to get a dog, consider where they will go when you begin to plan a holiday. If you choose to do a staycation, you might look for places that are dog friendly, allowing you to bring your dog along on holiday with you. Wherever you choose, look for areas you can take your dog for day trips. You might also want to get your dog used to travelling in the car on long journeys to help prepare for your holiday.
Alternatively, if you are planning a week abroad, you might want to consider the available options. Do you have a friend or family member that can look after them? If so, will they stay at yours, or will your dog move into their home for a week? If you cannot find someone you know to look after them, you might want to consider kennels. When looking for a kennel, ask those you know with a dog who they would recommend. You could also read the reviews for different kennels to find one suitable choice.
Making The Final Decision
After carefully considering and asking yourselves some of the questions above, you might still be certain that adopting a dog is the right decision for your family. If you decide to move forward with getting a dog, another question is, do you shop or adopt? Some families choose to find a dog directly from the breeder because they want that specific breed and to adopt it as a puppy. It is also worth considering adopting one of the countless dogs waiting for a new home in an animal shelter. Approximately 1.5 million animals are adopted from animal shelters annually, and a significant portion of this figure is dogs. Whether you move forward with adopting a dog or not, bringing home a dog will be a moment you likely will not forget.