Again, here is another post I wrote sometime ago, unfortunately it is still relevant today, with rescues, pounds & shelters seeing more dogs than ever, coming through their doors.
While you may love the idea of owning a dog, the reality maybe, you would be better off owning a goldfish. Why a goldfish you may ask, well goldfish don’t demand the same level of time and commitment from you, as a dog does.
Ask any rescue, shelter or pound and they will tell you, the continuous number of puppies & dogs, coming through their doors, isn’t slowing down.
In our consumer driven society, dogs seem to be another thing that get thrown on the heap, when the novelty has worn off. Many are in love with the idea of having a dog but the reality is, they are work, they are not “something” you leave in your backyard and ignore.
Dogs are fun and great to have around, they make wonderful companions but they will change your life as you know it, for many years to come. Whether you decide on a puppy, adult dog or a dog from rescue or shelter, you could be looking at a 10-15years + commitment, depending on the breed and age of the dog.
Are you ready for that?
So as a prospective dog owner, you have to think carefully about:
1. Your Lifestyle
Are you home a lot or do you spend a lot of time away?
Do you work long hours, are you always busy? If you are too busy, then owning a dog probably won’t be your top priority.
Do you own your own home or are you renting? (rental properties often don’t allow dogs)
Dogs are a 365 day a year commitment, to build up a good relationship and to enrich their lives, they need time spent with them everyday. Whether its training, going for a walk or playing games, Being tired or busy is no excuse for not spending time with your dog. In fact, dogs can be great stress relievers, they are a good excuse as well, for turning off your phone, TV or computer for a while.
2. What breed of dog is right for you
All I can say on this is, do your research, don’t be swayed by, the latest TV or Movie star dog, they may look cool on-screen but don’t be fooled, these dogs are well-trained. Don’t get sucked in by that “cute” puppy look, all dogs look “cute” when they are puppies but they soon grow up and loose that “cute” look.
Some breeds may need to be groomed regularly, while others may need more exercise, so if you are not into grooming or running/walking a couple or so kilometres a day, be smart, don’t get a dog that requires grooming or a lot of exercise. Dogs don’t just need exercise & training they also need their minds enriched as well, so just walking your dog, isn’t really enough.
Well dogs are not free, they come with costs, you have purchase costs, food bills (they need to eat) veterinary costs, that could be for anything, such as, vaccinations, operations, check ups, flea treatments, worming treatments etc
Then there is housing, where are you going to keep your dog, inside or outside or both. You may need to look at purchasing a kennel & run, or securing your property by altering or improving the fencing.
Then there’s bedding, collar, lead, toys, dog crate, registration, training, boarding/house sitter, if you want to go away. Grooming, dog walking, if you employ a dog walker, doggy day care, and the list goes on.
Ask any dog owner and they will tell you, dogs can chew, so be prepared for possible chewed furniture, clothes, shoes and the like, oh and I forgot TV remotes, just to name a few. If you get a puppy the chances are you will have accidents in the house, while house training, if your dog becomes ill, the same can happen, along with being sick, on your good carpet. All par for the course when you own a dog.
So if you are not phased by any of the above, dog ownership maybe right for you but if any of the above make you think twice, then owning a dog at this time, may not be, right for you.