Things to consider before getting a dog

When it comes to owning a dog there’s a lot more involved than just having a new playmate for the kids, companion for the older person or security for your home.

Are you ready for all your dog will need?

The messes in the backyard (and occasional accident inside) the cost of the food, toys and training equipment, do you know where the closest vet is? Do you mind seeing your favourite shoes or morning paper used as a chew toy? These are just the first things you need to consider.

Then you have to start thinking about what type of dog you want: Big or small, short coat or long, do you want a puppy or older dog, pure-bred or mutt?

If you’re planning on introducing a new dog into your family those items mentioned above are just part of what you need to take into consideration before making your final decision.

You need to make sure all family members are prepared to care for your pet: whether that means delegating who feeds the dog, who walks it and who cleans after it etc. If it’s going to be left for one person it may put a strain on your family. You also want to take into account the true cost of owning a dog; aside from the weekly food bill you will also need to pay vet bills, buy worm and flea preventions, possibly pay for training, and you’ll need things like collars, leads, food bowls and perhaps toys (just to save on the expense of having to buy new shoes,) that’s not taking into account particular requirements for certain breeds: some require professional grooming, others may have special medical considerations etc.

Depending on your housing situation you may need to spend time exercising your dog, cleaning the backyard up after your dog has done his business, making sure your dog has adequate toys to keep him entertained if he gets left alone for long periods at a time (while you’re at work etc)

You will also want to consider whether you want a male or female dog each have their pros and cons – then too comes the cost of neutering if you don’t plan on breeding, or if you don’t have your dog neutered dealing with the behaviours and problems this can cause.

While owning a dog can truly be a delight, before you take the step and purchase or rescue one (or give one as a gift) please take into account all that dog ownership entails.