Should You Get a Puppy?
Dave Tweedle, My Family Vets vet and Clinical Director at Natures Vet in Somerset, runs through some things to consider before deciding to get a puppy.
If you’re a dog lover who’s on the fence about whether to get your own puppy, it’s important to ask yourself the right questions.
Should I get a puppy quiz
Everyone loves puppies, but becoming a puppy owner is a huge responsibility. Sure, you’ll get to play with them and make all of your friends jealous, but you’ll also need to keep your new pup healthy and happy too – and this can cost time and money.
Getting a puppy is great… if you’re ready. To tell if you’re ready to add a furry friend to your household, try asking yourself some questions.
Do I have the time?
As a dog owner, you’ll spend lots of time walking – especially if your dog is full of energy. You’ll need to have an extra hour or so each day, usually for a walk in the morning, then again in the evening. Your dog will also need to be able to be taken out during the day for toilet visits, more often if they’re puppies.
Your puppy will also need training. This is great fun for humans and animals alike, but getting it right will take time and patience.
If you have other commitments such as work, travel or taking care of relatives, getting a puppy might not be the best idea for you.
Do I have the money?
The cost of puppy ownership mounts up quicker than you might think. Once you’ve selected a reputable breeder you may spend between hundreds and several thousands of pounds on your puppy – depending on the breed of dog you’ve chosen. But that cost is just the start.
You’ll also need to pay for:
- Equipment such as a crate, bowls, collar, identity tag, lead
- Flea and worm treatments
- Dental work
- Pet Insurance
- Training classes
There are great schemes available to make your puppy’s routine healthcare affordable, which your veterinary practice can advise further on.
Does it have to be a puppy?
What would make your heart warmer than providing a rescue dog with a loving home?
Not only is adopting a rescue dog a really kind thing to do, it can also be more convenient and affordable.
When getting a rescue dog, you won’t need to worry about extravagant upfront costs. Often you can get an adult dog who is already trained and if they’re reaching their elderly years, they may not need quite as much exercise.
With so many dogs living in rehoming centres in the UK, adopting a rescue dog is definitely worth thinking about. They may suffer from behavioural problems or pre-existing conditions, but most reputable shelters will be able to help with this, and be able to recommend a dog that suits you and your lifestyle.
There’s a reason so many UK households have dogs… because dogs bring loads of happiness to our lives. However, it’s important to respect the responsibility that comes with getting a new dog or puppy. It wouldn’t be fair for your new pup to end up in a rescue shelter just a few months after you purchase them.
Do plenty of research first. If you’re ready, great. If you haven’t got the time and financial resources, consider putting off getting a puppy until you’re ready. Think of it as something to look forward to. And maybe try borrowing one first!
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Other useful puppy guides
Where and how to buy a dog responsibly
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