So, you are considering a family addition of the canine variety. You’ll need a dog. Or your child wants a dog. Maybe your husband or wife wants a dog. Nevertheless, you aren’t sure. I’ve been there as the target of your 3-year campaign waged by my child to obtain a dog. From my experience, let me share with you the Top 5 Things to consider Before Deciding to Buy your pet dog: Commitment, Cost, Space, Breed, and Proper dog training.
1. COMMITTMENT: “Do you have what can be done to commit to your dog?”
A dog’s lifespan can be from 10 – 15 years with regards to the size and strain of the dog. Puppies and older dogs alike require a commitment to play, walk, train and have interaction on a regular basis. Don’t let a currently busy lifestyle discourage you while you think about this very important decision. Remember that there are all kinds of services that are available to you in the form of dog walkers and so forth; however, it’s YOUR dog and while you may require help, You are primary person or people with whom the dog is at relationship.
A good acid-test is to find a friend with a dog who might be willing to have you dog sit for a weekend or longer.
2. COST: Expenses to take into consideration as a dog owner are:
• The original cost of the dog. This could vary widely determined by whether you buy via a breeder, kennel or rescue association. Purebreds are costlier than mixed-breed dogs while your dog from a reputable shelter or rescue group can cost just a small contribution to the organization (these dogs could also have special needs).
• Veterinary Care. Dogs require a minumum of one well-visit per year and will need to have a couple of visits as puppies for vaccinations. That first visit cost between $50 and $300 based on the dog’s health and your geographical area. Preventative measures include heartworm and Flea and Tick treatments which are usually given monthly and may cost about $100 – $300 per year, depending on where you buy and where you live.
In the event of a catastrophic illness or requirement for surgery, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.
It is a good idea to consider a great investment in pet insurance. A simple catastrophic policy cost about $150/year while a plan with broader coverage (well visits, spay/neutering) can cost about $400/year.
• Food. Reasonably limited, good quality dog food could cost from $20 – 60 per month; doggie snacks can run between $10 – 20 per month..
• Toys, Leashes and Beds/Crates. Necessary for bonding and teething, it’s possible to expect to spend from $50 – $150 annually on toys; if you notice yourself as a soft touch that wont be able to resist bringing something you will find Fido, then that bill can go up pretty significantly.
Harnesses, collars and leashes vary. You will probably spend $50 – $75 on these every year, as your dog grows and needs a new collar, harness and leash. Your pet dog bed and/or crate can be found for anywhere from $30 – $200 with regards to the size and where you get them.
• Miscellaneous. Other reasonable expeneses will be grooming, dog walker, boarding and obedience training (you don’t have to be a dog whisperer to obtain your dog to behave!).
Dog walking ranges from hiring a kid in the neighborhood for $5 a walk to some professional service that can run around $20 for a hour run. Professionals offer discounts for mulitple pets and/or frequent use.
Grooming will run from $40 on up depending on the size of your dog,. Boarding may cost $30 a day or more, again, depending on the type of place you board and just what services they offer. More on dog obedience later.
3. SPACE: Generally dogs don’t require much space. Large dogs can get clumsy in small spaces with numerous bric-a-brac, but if they are getting enough exercise, an inferior space can be fine.
Dogs wish to feel cozy and you may see them claiming space under tables as well as in their crates as it feels good. If you are an apartment dweller, you might want to consider what will work for you in a smaller space.
In case you have a larger home, a larger dog will still want to stay in a smaller portion of the house. Regardless of the space you might have, it is imperative how the dog gets enough exercise for the size and that will help keep the space safe and appropriate.
4. BREED. There are numerous considerations when choosing a breed. My spouse is allergic to pet dander to ensure that cut out any breeds with fur. Were, however, very happy the poodle and stuffed bear shih tzu that we have made a part of our family.
Other questions you might ask and either research or talk to a professional are: Are you wanting a companion dog? One which needs more exercise and likes being outside? One that is typically good with children? Will your dog be living with other animals (including other dogs)? Will your dog be left alone for very long periods of time? Is it critical that the dog be well-trained or worthy of agility exercise? Is the climate well-suited to particular breeds greater than it is to others?
There are a variety of dog-selection tools online that can help in narrowing down your alternatives and help to give you the very best experience you can have having a dog by breed.
5. Training your dog: Lastly, dog obedience training can be carried out alone with your pet or perhaps in a class with other dogs.
In either case it is important for you, the property owner, alpha to your dog’s beta, to be consistent and know very well what works and what doesn’t.
Knowing these strategies and applying them so your dog knows who’s in charge is the most important thing that that can be done for your dog and yourself.
Once you have made all of the other commitments: research, time, financial, space, etc., just what it all boils down to is: Can you handle your dog in all situations and be proud of your relationship?
Bonding along with your dog is an ongoing experience and ignoring a puppy is not an option. At the end of the day, this dog will be a part of your family. If you decide to get a dog, you are going to love it like you never imagined you can love anything that isn’t human. At the end of the day, if you so choose, it can be worth the work, the education, the care and the comfort because there is little care for you like your pet.