Being a dog owner is a wonderful thing, but not every dog suits every person, and some of us simply don’t suit dog ownership – period. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, be sure to take heed of these points first, to see if a dog is really right for you, and if so, what sort of dog would suit your lifestyle.
As a general rule, the bigger the dog, the bigger the home it will ideally need. However there are exceptions to this; Greyhounds for example, are very happy to lie around and sleep, so will do well in a small space. On the other hand, Jack Russells tend to be little balls of energy and would suffer if forced to live in a home without a decent sized garden.
Be honest with yourself – are you an indoor or outdoor type? If you hate walking for walkings’ sake and the thought of early mornings make your blood run cold, you should stick to low energy breeds that are happy with the occasional stroll (think Pugs and English Bulldogs).
Those of us who would rather be at one with nature than stuck in front of the TV will need an energetic breed that can keep up with us. Think working dogs; shepherd breeds and terriers will be happy to accompany you on long walks in all weathers, while being a playful and loving companion during your downtime.
Certain dogs do well in the cold, some do well in the heat. Generally those that do well in one climate, will be very unhappy in the other. Huskies, Mastiffs, and Akitas all thrive in cold climates, while Cannans, Pharaoh Hounds, and Welsh Corgis tend to do very well in the heat. Avoid short-nosed breeds if you live in either extreme – they suffer when the weather is either too cold or too hot.
Puppy or adult:
While dogs of any age are a lot of responsibility, puppies take a great deal more time and care than housebroken adults. If you aren’t able to spend most of the day at home for the first few months of your puppy’s life, seriously consider adopting an adult dog instead.
Dogs are expensive; as well as food, you have to consider vets bills, insurance, toys, and the cost of replacing anything they might destroy. If you don’t have the enough spare cash to ensure you won’t have to worry about unexpected visits to the vets, please don’t get a dog. It isn’t fair to let your pet suffer because you can’t afford vet bills or insurance.
Are you really ready for the responsibility:
The final thing to consider before getting a dog is to honestly ask yourself if you are ready for this commitment. (Most dogs) will need daily walks (at a minimum); you will need to find somewhere suitable for it to stay should you go on holiday, and there will be no random all-nighters away from home. Don’t forget also that this will be for the entirety of the dog’s life. Don’t think if you get bored you can just put them in a shelter to be rehomed – dogs are highly emotional animals and it is incredibly selfish and unfair to put a dog through this torment just because you got bored.
Sarah is a writer for Campaign for Real Dog Food; a blog and community for dog owners who care about feeding their dogs the best they can afford. Sarah has been a dog owner her whole life and now shares ownership, with her husband, of a beautiful German Shepherd called Jack.
You can find a Dog of your own over on the pet section on the Loot website.