1. Can you afford a dog? You may be able to afford the initial cost of a dog, however, consider the ongoing costs of vet bills, toys, insurance, food, the list goes on.
2. Are You Allowed To Have Pets Where You Live? If you live in rented accommodation and do not own your house, you will need to check whether your landlord has any pet.
3. Do You Have Enough Time For A Dog? Dogs require a lot of time and energy. If you are thinking of getting a dog, ensure you make their life enjoyable by providing them with enough exercise, company, attention and care every day.Puppies will need even more attention and care. If you travel a lot with the family or with work, do you have realistic plans in place as to who will look after your dog? Do you have family members that would be willing to help? Although most dogs will be okay in the house for a few hours whilst you are at work, you should never leave your dog alone all day.If you have a family home, ensure the entire family want to have a dog and are all prepared to help. However, you should understand who has the main responsibility of care for the dog in advance.
4. Do You Have The Patience Necessary? Puppy training in particular can be extremely challenging. They can chew things and destroy things, so puppy training can help teach them how to behave. However, thorough training takes time, effort and a lot of patience. Although it can be frustrating when dogs destroy your possessions, you must not get angry as this will not help them stop the behaviour and it can just make them nervous and scared.
5. Will You Be Able To Exercise Your Dog? Do you have enough time to fit exercising your dog into your daily schedule? Dogs need to be exercised not only to keep fit but also for mental stimulation. Walks are a great opportunity for your dog to meet other dogs which is great for socialising and a great time for you to bond with your dog.
6. Which Breed Is The Best Fit For You?Some people know exactly which breed of dog they want whilst others don’t. Ensure you do the research first before you decide as the breed can make a huge difference. Discover as much information about the breed you want before you get the dog as some breeds are known for being more at risk of medical problems. This could impact the dog’s life and also involve higher amounts of care and medical costs.Each breed of dog has different personality traits which you should research before making any decision about getting a dog.
7. Do You Have Any Children?Although there are some breeds of dogs that get on well with children, they are still animals and there is no guarantee that they will get on with the children so care should be taken. Before you bring the dog home, teach your children how to look after a pet, and what behaviours they should avoid around the dog, such as climbing on its back or pulling its tail.
8. Do You Have Enough Space?If you are going for a larger breed of dog, ensure you have sufficient space in your home for you all to live side-by-side. Consider the size of your garden. Ideally, you should have enough garden space or an outdoor area large enough for the dog to run around and go to the toilet. If you do not have a large garden, do you have outdoor areas around you for them to run around and play?
9. Do You Have Other Pets?Take into consideration the impact a dog will have on any other pets you may already have. Although some cats and dogs can bond well, sometimes they can tolerate each other and in other circumstances the mix can cause trouble and friction.