Before making the decision about buying a new dog, here are some points you should consider…
DURING THE DAY
1. Is someone at home for most of the day ?
A dog, especially a puppy, should not be left on its own for more than a few hours at a time. If you are out at work from 9-5 don’t get a dog unless you can make satisfactory arrangements with a friend to let the dog out.
2. What about holidays ?
It is sad to say that more dogs are destroyed at holiday time than any other. Unless you have a helpful family to look after your dog, be prepared for the expense of boarding kennels. Because of the increase in running costs, reputable kennels now have to make a higher charge – don’t forget to book well ahead.
3. Are you prepared for the cost of keeping a dog ?
This includes not only the cost of food, and kennels at holiday time, but also the cost of vaccinations and also possible veterinary fees in case of illness. A dog, like a child, can fall ill quite suddenly and unexpectedly, so be prepared for any eventuality. Take out pet insurance for peace of mind.
To keep healthy and happy, dogs need daily exercise, and this means a good run in a field or park, or a game with a ball, not just a stroll round to the shops on a leash. If you love your dog, be prepared to sacrifice some of your leisure time each day, whatever the weather. If you can’t provide this kind of exercise to a dog, consider giving a home to an older dog. Your local dogs home may have just the right one for you.
5. Family circumstances
Dogs and children usually love each other and get on well, but don’t make the mistake of buying a young puppy for a small child. Young children can be very cruel and a puppy may be badly thrown about. Worse still a young pup’s bones may easily broken if a child treats it like a toy. Wait until the children are older and a little more responsible.
If you don’t have much time to spare, choose a dog with a smooth or wire coat which needs little attention to keep it tidy. Long and curly coated dogs look beautiful, but they need daily grooming to keep them this way. Poodles need regular trimming, as well as grooming, so unless you are able to do this yourself be prepared for extra expense.