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Should you get a dog

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Should you get a dog?

So, you’ve either been worn down by your kids or perhaps it’s been a life long dream of yours or your partners to have a 4-legged family member. Either way it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly and certainly not a decision that should be rushed.

If you have ever visited an animal rescue centre then you’ll understand why this should be something that you research as much as you possibly can. Most of the dogs that end up in a rescue centre were more than likely purchased by someone with genuinely good intentions, to be their family pet. So that got me thinking – should you get a dog?

Of course things can change during the lifetime of your dog. Maybe your income could fall, divorce and family breakdown can happen or maybe you’ll need to move house. If you cover all bases and take your time considering if this is the right thing for your family then it’ll give you the best chance of  providing a dog with the best home possible.

Have you considered all costs?

Purchasing a pedigree puppy can cost anything up to £2000 depending on your breed of choice.

If you choose to adopt a dog from a rescue centre you will need to make a donation, you can expect to pay anywhere between £100 and £250 for adoption fees. The money you need for a dog does not end here.

Vet bills in your puppy’s first year will be from £150, you’ll need vaccinations, microchipping (which is now a legal requirement in the UK) and worming and that’s if all goes to plan.Your dog will then need routine examinations and boosters.

Food

Dog food costs vary depending on the size and breed of your dog and which brand of food you choose. If you spend more on dog food the general rule is that your dog will benefit nutritionally and therefore be a healthier and happier dog.

should i get a dog

Pet insurance

Insurance is a must; with increasing vet bills insurance is your peace of mind. An emergency operation for your dog could run into thousands of pounds and you never know when this could happen. You can find policies from around £10 a month, but make sure that you read the small print and you have enough cover and that the policy is a lifetime policy.

Accessories

Leads, beds, bowls, toys and treats are little additions that can add up but shouldn’t be forgotten. In the first year of owning your dog you should expect to spend in excess of £150, and if you enjoy shopping you are going to love shops like Pets at Home!

Grooming

Your dog will need grooming on a regular basis. You can do the majority of this at home but on occasions you will need to go to a professional dog groomer. Depending on your chosen breed, you could be visiting a groomer as often as every 6 weeks at around £35 a time on average.

should i get a dog

Responsibility

Owning a dog is a big responsibility even putting finances aside.

If you work full time and no one can be at home with the dog during the day you may be better off considering a different pet. If your circumstances could change with work and you may have to work longer hours in the future then bear this in mind now.

Your dog will need walking every day, this means even when it’s cold, snowing or raining you’ll have to wrap up and get out with your dog. Different breeds of dog require different levels of exercise so if you prefer short walks or don’t have time to walk for hours then make sure you choose a suitable breed.

If you are the kind of family that enjoy a spontaneous day out then who will feed, walk and let out your dog for you?

Fun

When you have completed your basic dog training and your dog is older than 12 months, you could consider some great activities for you both to enjoy. Agility has become increasingly popular in the UK and there are new clubs springing up all the time. This is a great way of bonding further with your dog and even if you don’t want to compete, agility is really good fun.

If you enjoy running you could try Cani X, it’s not as easy as it sounds but you can train your dog to run with you!

Your health

Dogs can also help with your own health, there have been scientific studies proving that owning a dog can help with stress and your overall health. It’s not rocket science really, having a dog means getting outside every day walking, raising your heart rate and burning calories. Even stroking a dog can relieve stress and promote feelings of contentment and relaxation.

If you feel that your family could provide a great home for a dog and that you can afford to have one then read up, research breeds and talk to dog owners as much as possible before making the commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

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