Is a puppy the right pet for you?

Before getting a puppy it’s important to ask yourself the right questions.

Dr David Tweedle - BVetMed MRCVS

Dave Tweedle, My Family Vets vet and Clinical Director at Natures Vet in Somerset, runs through everything 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. 


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…


Do I have the time? 


As a dog owner, you’ll spend lots of time walking – especially if your dog is big and 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 puppy will also need training. This is great fun for humans and animals alike, but getting it right will take time. 


If you have other commitments such as work, travel or taking care of relatives, getting a new 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 up to £1,000 on your puppy – depending on the breed of dog you’ve chosen. 


You’ll also need to pay for:


  • Food
  • Equipment such as crate, bowl and lead
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Flea and worm treatment
  • Neutering
  • Dental work

There are great schemes available to make your puppy’s routine healthcare affordable, such as the Pet Health Club. It’s also useful to take out a pet insurance policy for your puppy. 


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. You’ll likely 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 shelters 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 to recommend a dog that suits you and your lifestyle.  


Think you can handle it? Of course you can! 


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! Or, better yet, try borrowing one first! 


Join BorrowMyDoggy

BorrowMyDoggy connects dog owners with local volunteer borrowers for walks, holiday care and dog sitting. It’s simple, affordable and safe.

All members take our safety checks before connecting and membership includes access to a 24/7 Vet line and accident and third-party liability insurance.

Learn more and get started