You have always wanted a dog. Perhaps you have retired and fancy taking long walks with your new best pal. Or perhaps the kinds have been pestering you to get a puppy and you have finally caved in. But before you rush out to make the kids’ wishes come true, there are some important questions to ask yourself to be sure you know what you are getting in to.
What breed of dog best suits your circumstances and different breed of dog have different needs of their own.
You have to strike that balance. For example if you live in a small apartment going out to buy a Saint Bernard puppy probably isn’t the smartest move. Instead, say a Jack Russel would be more suitable.
That cute new puppy will need lots of looking after and training. Who will do that? Do you have the time, are you able to take time from work, can your partner and/or kids put the time in.
Tough questions to ask yourself but ask you must and be honest with yourself. Do your circumstances really lend themselves to puppy ownership?
Other considerations to take in to account include grooming and feeding. Long haired breeds take more grooming. Big dogs eat more food. And more food means more expense. Think also of the cost of owning that puppy.
It’s not just the cost of feeding either. Other ownership costs can add up. For example bedding, collar, lead, toys and similar.
Another consideration is insurance to cover vet bills. Different breeds of dogs tend to have health issues specific to their breed. Consider the risk here too. Do your research in to this so you are aware of the potential issues which may arise as puppy grows in to an adult dog.
And of course ask yourself, really ask yourself, if you have the commitment which dog ownership demands of you. Do you have the fortitude to take your dog out for a walk before bed time in any weather? Sun, rain or snow, your dog needs exercise.
I suggest taking advice from a local pet store and if possible a vet before you buy that puppy. Listen to what they have to say about what breed of puppy might best suit your circumstances and how best you might prepare your home first.
The pet store or vet may also be able to offer advice on local breeders from whom you might acquire your puppy. I suggest visiting the puppy a time or two at the breeder’s premises and ideally seeing puppy with its mother. And before you buy, check any paperwork which may be required. A local kennel club is another source of advice.
Owning a puppy is a very rewarding experience, however please carefully take in to account the important considerations we have taken a quick look at here before you take the plunge.
by Andy Machin