Dog ownership and you: are you ready for a puppy?

Every year, thousands of people buy a dog they’re not capable of caring for. So here’s some advice before you buy a dog.

Buying a new dog is a 10 – 20-year commitment. They say a 15-year commitment, but small breeds are known to go on for a long time. Think about that before you rush off to buy a dog because you have been lonely working from home. Do you have the nest 10-20 years free? Do you plan to travel? Do you have the space?

We are not here to tell you not to get a dog. We love dogs. We love them so much that we are exhausted in seeing animals returned to shelters, of puppies who weren’t appropriately trained to have to be put down, and of dogs who spend their lives in kennels because their pooch parents weren’t ready. So, the first rule of dog ownership is always this: be prepared. Think it through. Be sure. It’s a whole life you ruin otherwise.

Are you ready for that puppy?

Any of us can read exciting dog articles and be eager to get a puppy of our own, but not all of us are ready for it. Some dogs are high maintenance, and others are minimal maintenance. Some people are tall and have minimal maintenance, so you should try and match the dog to your needs.

For example, there are benefits to soaking your puppy’s food in the water. Your puppy might be cute and mouthy when small, but that mouthiness turns into toothiness when they get older, and they’re not so cute anymore.

How much exercise will you give them?

Ask yourself what energy level you are willing to give to the dog. If you are ready to walk 2 hours a day, a medium dog will suit you. If you live and work on a farm, a large dog or collie will burn off their energy at your side. If you only walk around the block at night, get a petite dog that doesn’t need extra exercise. Yes, Dalmatians are beautiful, but when you are on your sixth mile of the day, and they are still pulling you, it’s hard to remember to stay calm.

How much will they eat?

A new puppy should eat every couple of hours in small portions, but a big dog will eat a lot more and only a couple of times a day. A large dog will expect a large tin of food and kibble. A small dog can use those delicate little trays.

Our advice on getting a puppy

Our advice on getting a puppy is to research before you buy. Find a dog that matches your energy level, and make sure you invest in puppy training. It will pay off in their later years when they’re not chasing the postman of the property

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