Whilst it might seem a great idea to buy a puppy as a present this Christmas, stop and think before you head to the pet shop or take a trip to your local dog’s home. With dog ownership there comes a great deal of responsibility. Buy a puppy on a whim and that gorgeous little chap will grow and become a real handful. This is a lifetime commitment, are you ready to embrace this new stage of life?
Think carefully about this responsibility. Remember that dogs…
Need a healthy diet
Puppies should be fed a healthy diet from early years onwards. As a responsible dog owner you choose the food your dog eats. A branded balanced dog food is a good option to ensure your pooch receives all the essential vitamins and minerals they need to support healthy growth.
The recommended feeding rate is four meals a day for the first 12 weeks after which this can be reduced to three meals. Once your dog gets to 6 months of age they can be dropped down to two meals a day and this can continue throughout their adult life.
Require vet care
Pets get ill just like humans. When you dog becomes ill the best place to take them is the vet. Be warned though. Vet bills can be rather expensive. Something as simple as annual booster can be £35. If the little fella requires surgery this might cost many hundreds of pounds. Could you afford this unexpected expense if you had to face it on the spur of the moment?
One solution is to take out pet insurance. Pay a fixed monthly fee and this covers you for a specific level of care. Check policy details to find out what’s covered and what’s not.
Dogs need walks. Without exercise they become overweight and can become frustrated, this is normally when they start become destructive around the house. Depending on the breed your dog could require anywhere up to three walks per day. Would you have the time to fit this in with your schedule?
Most breeds should be fine with one good walk per day. This is the very least you should be thinking about.
Will require pet-sitting at some point
Holidays, weekends away and time spent in hospital are just some of the reasons you might need to be separated from your dog. What provisions would you have in place to look after them during these instances?
You could explore the kennel option, send your pooch to a private pet-sitter or have friends or family look after them.
Life changes when you get a dog. There’ll be moments when you are separated and it goes without saying you’ll want the very best care for your pet.
Think about these points before you buy a dog. Too many owners find it a struggle to look after a pooch once the novelty wears off and reality sets in.
Whether this pet is for you or intended as a gift, a dog is for life and not just for Christmas.