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Things to consider before getting a Dog.

Monday, 19 October 2015

At this time of year, with everyone starting to think about Christmas, I just wanted to put a few points out there for anyone considering bringing a Dog into their Family.

I am by no means against people getting Dogs for Christmas as long as they are prepared for the commitment. After all, a Dog is not a toy that can be discarded when the kids get bored. I am by no means a Dog expert but I am a Dog lover who grew up with a beautiful Labrador and, back in 2008, my Husband and I made the decision to buy Charlie - our King Charles Spaniel. 

We had deliberated for 2 years with me being the one that kept delaying the decision as I didn't feel we were in a position to properly care for a Dog. However, once we moved from our flat, bought our house and got married, I finally felt that we could welcome a Puppy into our home and care for him/her well.

The first thing to really think about is if you have enough time. Everyone loves a cute cuddly little puppy, but once you get him/her home it becomes a full time job trying to toilet train them, team them basic commands such as sit, stay and give, also getting them into a routine can be very time consuming. We found Charlie would expect there to be food in his bowl 24/7 and would pester constantly despite having just eaten it all and not being hungry, it took a long time to break that habit but now he knows that he has breakfast when we do and dinner when we do.

Our top tips:

  • Consider rescuing a Dog before you look into buying. It is truly heartbreaking the amount of Dogs that are abandoned, especially since the recession made it very difficult for people to survive.
  • If you are looking at puppies from a private breeder, make sure you are able to see the Parents, check that all worming and flea treatments have been administered. Also make sure you are able to access kennel club papers to make sure the pups haven't been inbred.
  • Consider the size of your house/garden/ vs the breed/size of Dog you are considering. Originally we wanted a Springer Spaniel, however as we only have a 2 bed terraced house and a small yard, we decided on a King Charles Spaniel as they are a smaller breed who don't need as much space or exercise as a Springer.
Our Charlie boy!
  • Shop around for the best pet insurance for you. Prices differ dramatically and so do the terms of coverage. Personally we settled on Argos Pet Insurance as we found the Platinum policy covers all illnesses for life not just 1 year as most policies. Imagine the huge financial cost if your beloved pet develops a lifelong condition such as diabetes for example, the right insurance could really make all the difference.
  • Be prepared for some sleepless nights! Puppies can cry like a baby once they are left alone. Things like putting a ticking alarm clock in their bed (the sound is meant to remind the Puppy of their Mums heartbeat) or laying a T-shirt that smells of you in their bed can also be a comfort to them when they are separated from you.
If you still think you are ready for the challenges and love a Dog will bring to your Family, good luck choosing your new Friend!

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