Things to Consider before Buying a Dog
There’s no doubt about it – owning a dog is a very enriching experience. Dogs will give you unconditional love. In their eyes we can do no wrong. Many experts agree that having a dog can be therapeutic. When looking into those big, soulful eyes filled with devotion, who can doubt it?
A dog is always happy to see you and will openly show its happiness with excited tail wagging and little leaps of pleasure. Plus you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend a cold winter’s evening than curled up in a cosy spot with your dog nestled beside you.
However, buying a dog is a big decision and not something you should do on the spur of the moment.
Before you commit to buying a dog, ask yourself why you want to have one. Are you looking for companionship, perhaps a deterrent to burglars? The reasons you come up with will help you to determine what type of dog is best suited for you.
There are pros and cons for buying male or female dogs. If you are not considering buying a dog for breeding purposes, you should seriously consider getting the dog neutered. But be warned, this can be more expensive for the female of the species.
This leads us on to the costs of dog ownership. It’s not just the initial purchase cost – often this is the minor cost. Consider that dogs need lots of accessories – leads, beds, toys, a variety of food and registration, for example. Veterinary costs can be quite high, especially in the case of emergencies. Even regular check-ups can eat into your budget. But the costs will be repaid over and over again by your furry friend.
A dog will take up a lot of your time. There’s no getting around that fact. From the initial period when your dog is just a puppy, you’ll need to spend time on training, both house training and general obedience training. And as the dog grows up, you’ll spend a lot of time exercising it. Good for you and the dog, but remember that you’ll need to go out with your dog at least once each day. On the plus side, think of the savings on gym fees!
You also need to consider the role the dog will play in your family. If you decide that you want the dog to be a companion for your children, you can bet your life that eventually they will gain new interests, leaving you to take care of the dog. But your children will gain immeasurably from the interaction, love and responsibility they will experience with a dog in the home.
Cute little puppies have an inevitable habit of growing. For a pure breed, this is no problem – if you’ve done your homework, you’ll know what to expect, but if you buy a mixed breed dog, that little bundle of joy could turn into a 25kilo bundle of muscles. If you want to get an idea of what size your dog could become, just take a look at its paws – it’s often said that puppies grow into their paws!