Just a few things to think about before you buy a dog or puppy!!
- MEALS - Young puppies who have just left mum require 4 meals per day at first, given at regular intervals. There is a huge variety of dog food on the market, but you have to consider what size of dog you are choosing, and how much daily food is going to cost.
- TOILET TRAINING - When pups are being fed 4 meals daily, then this usually means at least 4 poo's daily!! You have to be there to teach your puppy where to relieve themself every time (not just some of the time) it's the only way they learn, firstly with newspaper or puppy training pads and then when they have got the hang of it - you move the pad outdoors.
- TIME - The new puppy not only has to be toilet trained, but it also has to be taught manners and some basic obedience, and all of this can take up a lot of your time. Lead training can be fun, and is usually a battle of wills - you have to take it slowly and eventually you might get going! You have to think if you have very young babies or children do you really have the time for a puppy? or if you work?
- COMPANY - If you are planning on getting a puppy will it be left alone all day? If you work full time or even night shift & are asleep all day is it fair to purchase a puppy? Dogs are naturally pack animals and don't like being alone for long periods of time - they look on you as pack leader - so you don't have to have another dog - just you! Working part time and having a dog can work, as once the pup is old enough it will be ok to leave him for a few hours, providing it's not all day and he has access to water and some toys or chews to keep him amused. It's always handy to have a friend, family member or neighbour on hand to help out if you get delayed.
- HOLIDAYS - If you go on a lot of holidays you have to think if you are going to take the dog with you or will you have to find holiday care for him? Boarding kennels can be expensive, and at peak holiday periods get very busy, family and friends are great - but sometimes can be un-reliable and drop out at the last minute.
- BREED - Are you going to purchase a particular breed of dog,or are you adopting a rescue pup? When you adopt a puppy from rescue centres, it's a great thing to do, but you have to think about what size the puppy will grow to. If you live in a small house and end up with a dog the size of a great dane then you could have a problem! Also who will be walking the dog? will children be able to control any size of dog - or could they be dragged off down the street. With a pedigree puppy you roughly know what the end product is going to look like, but they can be very expensive.
- COST - A few costs to consider are - The purchase price of the puppy - feeding costs - vaccinations - vets fees - insurance costs - accessories eg bed, bowls, grooming kit, collar & lead,etc ( My Shop) - boarding fees - microchipping - Medication for old or sick dogs -
AGE - You also have to consider your age when thinking about a pup!! - sounds crazy, but it's true. Dogs live for around 10 right up to 16 years. Are you fit enough to care for the dog right through his life or even for the initial training? Some elderly people have given the best homes to older dogs living in rescue centres, as they don't need the same amount of exercise, are not as lively & less likely to knock you or your visitors over and are often happy lying in front of the fire being petted all day long. These doggies usually just want someone to love!