If you’re thinking of buying a dog, you’ll need to be sure you can accommodate all their needs for years to come. There’s a lot involved in keeping a dog, as some people find out too late, with resulting stress for both them and their pet, so it’s important to know what you’re committing yourself to before going ahead. Here are five key factors you’ll need to consider:
1. Dogs need daily walks
Whatever sort of dog you choose, it will need regular fresh air and exercise. Dogs benefit from extensive walks to exercise their heart, lungs and limbs, and this requires accompanied outings to ensure sustained, worthwhile exercise, at least once a day and preferably more. But providing walks on a daily basis can be tricky if you lead a busy life or go out to work.
2. Dogs need company.
One of the attractions of dogs is the fact that they show feelings, like humans. A particularly notable one is their apparent loneliness when left alone for long periods. How often have you heard a dog pining for its owner outside a store or seen one at a window, waiting anxiously for their return? If you go out to work, leaving no one else at home, this could be a miserable and stressful situation for a dog to endure every day.
3. Dogs need Space
Do you and your family have plenty of living space, inside and out? If so, you’ll be glad of it when your dog arrives. But if you’re already juggling with furniture to make room for everything, a lively dog could prove an inconvenience. What’s more, your dog may feel as confined as you do, making it agitated and restless. Dogs need space to run, jump and stretch out, preferably in your backyard as well as indoors. They also need regular access to a suitable outdoor area to relieve themselves.
4. Dog Care can be Costly
A healthy dog will have a healthy appetite, requiring daily servings of meat and dog biscuit, and there will be other expenses, too, such as bedding, grooming accessories and perhaps a travel crate for long journeys and dog kennel accommodation when you’re away. Animal healthcare is also expensive. Even the healthiest pet can be hit by illness or injury, and you may want to invest in an insurance policy to cover all eventualities.
Although you can get freebies to help offset the cost, you’ll need to take these long-term costs into consideration before going ahead with your acquisition, especially if you have a limited or variable spending budget.
5. Some dogs can be dangerous
While you’ll be concerned about your dog’s health and welfare, you’ll also need to consider the well-being and safety of your family, visitors and neighbors and anyone else likely to encounter your dog. Even the most sentimental dog can turn aggressive if it feels threatened, and some breeds are known to be dangerous. A noisy dog could seriously bother your closest neighbors, potentially causing them stress and related health issues, so you’ll need to weigh up these risks, too.
If you’re sure you can give a dog the time, attention and care it needs, and that no one is likely to be adversely affected it, you can go confidently ahead and choose the dog of your dreams. With your excellent care, you’ll be fulfilling your dog’s dreams, too.