Top 10 Things To Consider When Buying A Dog
Buying a dog is a huge decision and one that should not be taken lightly. Sadly too many people rush into buying a dog before they have carefully thought through everything and the massive impact that owning a dog will have on their life. This blog looks at the top 10 things to consider when buying a dog.
Should I be buying a dog from a breeder or rescuing a dog?
This is a big question to answer and one you should discuss with your family. Some people may be a bit anxious about rescuing a dog from an animal charity in case the dog has been previously mistreated and may have some behaviour issues. However, rescuing a dog from an animal charity means the dog will have been thoroughly assessed by vets and behaviour experts so you will be made well aware if they have any behaviour issues that you need to consider. Any information on the dog’s history will be given to you when you adopt.
Some dog owners prefer to buy a dog from a breeder so they don’t have this kind of history, however, do not underestimate the time and commitment required to look after a puppy. Also be aware, there are a lot of people out there who breed dogs but they are not Kennel Club registered and they don’t all follow the right guidelines, which can lead to puppies with congenital defects and this causes a lot of heart break.
Another big question, which breed of dog should I buy? This depends on a large number of factors including what is your lifestyle like, who do you live with, where to you live, what do you do for work? We all have favourite breeds, however, it’s no good buying a dog and then realising you can’t look after them as you can’t give them what they need. For example, some dogs need 2 – 3 hours walking a day. Some dog breeds grow up into huge dogs, that need a lot of space. Some dog breeds are more energetic than others, so they will need a lot more stimulating toys, outside play time and walking compared with a calmer breed.
Do I have enough time to devote to a dog?
Buying a dog is a huge commitment, and one a lot of dog owners underestimate sadly. Owning a dog takes up a large chunk of your time if you consider the time spent walking them, feeding them, shopping for their food, beds, collar, lead and toys. Not to mention the time spent playing and interacting with them, as well as time to train and groom them. As mentioned above different dog breeds require different amounts of exercise and a different level of care as well for example a long haired retriever is going to need a lot more attention to detail, longer and more frequent grooming than a Jack Russel dog.
Do I have enough space?
Space is another important consideration, especially if you are buying a puppy or young dog, as they grow! Obviously some breeds grow a lot more than others so be sure to know how big your dog will be when they are fully grown. Bigger dogs need bigger beds, bigger feeding bowls and bigger toys.
Can I afford all the equipment and training they need?
It can be so easy to get super excited buying a beautiful bed for your dog to sleep in and a designer collar and lead, but have you considered what puppy classes and training your puppy/dog will need? Can you afford the puppy classes and training? This all needs to be thought about and budgeted for before buying a dog. Investing in professional training for your dog will pay dividends later on.
Can I afford insurance and the potential vets bills?
If you have owned a pet before, you will be familiar with vet bills and how much they cost, but this may come as a bit of a shock if you have either not owned a pet before or if you have perhaps owned small pet or cat as dog vets bills often tend to be bigger.
Pet insurance is a big consideration and needs to be looked into carefully, make sure you understand what the monthly premium will be, this is likely to differ depending on the breed of the dog, their age and medical history if they have one. The last thing anyone wants is to be faced with a big bill they are not able to afford to pay, so please budget some money each month towards vets bills so you know you have it covered.
Will I be home enough?
A lot of dogs are not able to be left at home on their own for prolonged periods of time. Being left alone a lot will often lead to your dog developing feelings of anxiety, which may cause them to bark a lot, scratch furniture, bite and chew furniture and be very destructive due to the stress that being on their own has caused. Dogs are social creatures, they enjoy company and get very lonely if left on their own for long periods of time. Some dog owners use dog walkers and doggy day care centres to help keep their dogs busy whilst they are at work, so this could be an option for you if you don’t work from home.
Do I have a secure garden?
Dogs love to play and run around so you need to think about the provision for outside space before buying a dog. Do you have a garden, is it big enough for your dog to run around in? Also, is your garden nice and secure, can you let them out there to run and play without them escaping and getting out onto a dangerous road? Also, be aware that many dogs love to dig so you could find several holes dug in your garden or those pretty flowers you planted last weekend, yes they are now dug up and covered in mud!
What will I do when I go on holiday?
Before buying a dog you need to give serious thought as to what you will do when you go away on holiday. Will you now only go on holiday in the UK to dog friendly places, of which are many or will you look at booking your dog into a local kennels whilst you are away on holiday? Dog sitters are another option or perhaps asking family or friends to look after your dog while you are away may be possible but you need to have this all worked out before committing to buying a dog.
Puppy or adult dog?
This is a very big question to answer! Puppies and adult dogs have very different needs so you need to do extensive research into what those needs are and which best fit with your lifestyle. Talk to other dog owners, those who had their dog from a puppy and those who rescued an adult dog, see what experiences they had and think about whether a puppy or adult dog would be a good fit for your family dynamics.
You can find more photos of gorgeous furbabies like these on our Your Pets Gallery on the website.