Should I get a dog?
Road-testing what it's like being responsible for a pet.
Things to consider before adopting a dog
Do you have time to commit to a dog? Dogs need exercise, some more than others. Some dogs don’t like being left alone for long periods of time.
Is your lifestyle suitable for a dog? Dogs generally like a stable routine. They need to be fed regularly. Do you have outside space where your dog can explore, or will they be inside all the time?
Do you have access to a vet? From time to time, your dog is going to need to go to the vet – just like you need to go to the doctor and the dentist. Have you got a neighbourhood vet within easy reach of your home? Have you considered the costs involved?
How dog-friendly is your home? Dogs can be messy. Things will get broken. They will shed hair on your furniture. Odd bones might appear underneath your sofa. There’s bound to be a few toilet accidents.
Do you know how to feed a dog? Do your research before bringing a dog into your home. You need to make sure that you’re going to be able to give your dog the balanced nutrition that they need.
Allow for an adjustment period. Whatever age the dog that you’re planning on bringing into your home, there will be an adjustment period. You might need to take some time off work so that you can bond with the dog and ensure that they’re comfortable.
Understand how to house-train your dog. Getting the signals right as to when your dog needs to go to the toilet will make life a lot easier for both of you. Be prepared to get some professional help from a dog-trainer so that you can get this sorted early on.
Treats and toys. How are you going to entertain your dog? What toys should you be investing in? How should you use treats to reward good behaviour? Do some research before your dog arrives.
Consider neutering your pet. Get some advice from a vet, but generally it is a good idea to neuter your dog.
Registration and identification. Check the local regulations to ensure that you know what’s required in terms of dog registration and identification.
Photo by David Rangel on Unsplash
Photo by Jordan Koons on Unsplash