Dogs require a lot of attention throughout their lives. There are some factors of which need to be met for a puppy to grow up and to live happily and healthily with its owners. You need to consider the factors involved in owning a puppy and whether a dog is right for you at this point in time. Check out our puppy guides to help you when considering becoming a dog owner.
Can I afford to own a dog?
Owning a puppy has ongoing expenses even after it has grown up. After the initial cost of purchase, there will be the price of food every week to take into account, as well as an ongoing procession of toys to provide, beds, leads and collars to buy, and not to mention vet bills.
The UK Kennel Club estimates a dog can cost roughly £25 per week.
Can I give a dog the time it needs?
We all have busy lives, and caring for a dog can take up a lot of time. Walking every day is a big must for pretty much all dogs, as well as time to take them to the vets, groom and bathe them, and just to generally socialise with them.
Without exercise or good socialisation, the behaviour of the dog is likely to suffer. They can become destructive and mischievous. Without proper grooming or care, they can become ill. It is important that you can give them enough time to stop this from happening.
On the plus side, your dog care will soon fall into a routine, and your dog will likely help you stick to the routine by wanting the same things at a set time. Once this routine is set, looking after your dog will feel natural and normal and fit in nicely between everything else you have to do on a daily basis.
Is my home big enough for a dog?
Dogs take up room. Depending on what kind of dog, they can need more or less spacious homes. For instance, the big Irish Setter needs a bigger home than the tiny Chinese Crested Dog.
You need to consider whether your home is suitable for a dog; will it have enough room to move about and lie down? Where will you put its bed? Is it a dog that will struggle with stairs if you live in a flat or apartment building?
You also have to remember that a dog is a long term investment. Will you be moving house in the next few decades? Will you be restricted in property choice by the fact you have a dog?
Do I live in the right location for a dog?
Some dogs need large open spaces to run around in, explore, and have a good game of fetch in, and so would be more suited to living in the country side, or with access to rural areas.
Other breeds, like the Chihuahua, will just need a walk and moderate exercise every day and should be able to get this from a stroll through a city.