Getting a dog can be a great addition to any family. They bring warmth, fun, love, passion, enthusiasm, and lots of affection. They are great for your mental health and physical health as you will need to engage with your dog and take it for lots of walks. There are so many great benefits to owning a dog, it can almost seem as though there should be no consideration needed before getting one. 

However, when it comes to deciding whether to get a dog or not, you will need to think about whether you have the time on your hands to train them, walk them each day, and take care of them.  Then comes the financial implications of owning a dog. They will need feeding twice a day, then there are things like dog treats and toys that they will need lots of. You should also make sure that that you have suitable health insurance taken out on your dog. Your dog will also need flea treatment and worming tablets are given to it on a regular basis, and there will be vaccinations that your dog will need to protect it against common health problems such as kennel cough

If you are happy that you can provide all of these things for a dog, then the next stage is finding a suitable dog for you. 

Where To Get Your Dog

Firstly, you will need to look for a dog. There are two routes that you can choose to go down in terms of finding a dog. You could get a dog from a breeder. If you are going to go for this option, make sure that the breeder is registered and that the dogs are looked after to a very high standard before you decide to buy one from them. There are unfortunately many breeders out there that neglect dogs, and then profit drastically from their misfortune. Do some research and find a reputable breeder in your area. 

The other route that you could go down is to get a dog from a rehoming center. Many dogs end up without a home for various reasons. Their previous owners may have had to give them up for financial reasons, or they may have passed away. Often dogs that are rehomed have come from broken homes where a couple has split up. In some cases, the animal may have sadly been abused by the previous owners. Whatever the reason, the dogs deserve to have a loving home and it can be a very rewarding feeling to provide this for them. 

When rehoming a dog, it is important to understand that they may have had a bad experience in their previous home, or they may be upset at having been separated from their previous family. There may be some emotional issues that you will need to work on with your new pet, and while they get used to their new life with you, there may be some behavioral issues such as separation anxiety that you will need to help them with.

What Breed Of Dog To Get

When you are choosing your dog, you will want to think of a number of things. Firstly, the personality and temperament of the dog. Most breeds will have a common personality type. They will have been bred to perform a certain role by their owners. The breed may have been used historically for hunting or sniffing out other animals, or they may have been companions. These old job roles will still show in their behavior, and as such, they will require the option to express their natural behaviors. That may mean that they will want to run and chase something, though a ball will satisfy that urge. For others, a long walk or a run in an open space is vital. 

Understanding the health problems that are associated with particular breeds is important. Knowing that dachshunds are prone to bad hips and that pugs will have breathing problems will put you in the know when it comes to identifying health problems that may come along in later life. Knowing the bernese mountain dog lifespan will mean that you are prepared for anything that may spring up that should be a concern. 

Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Dogs need to have a balanced diet and plenty of exercise, they need to be mentally stimulated and shown love. Just like humans, they have health needs, and like their owners, it will be down to you to make sure that these needs are met. 

Think about the type of food that you are giving to your dog. They need to get a good balance in their diet, and just like us, they should be avoiding foods that are high in sugars and fats. We often assume that any dog food is going to be fine for our dogs. It is also very easy to get drawn into the marketing that goes into many brands. However, it is important to check out the ingredients and the nutritional information on the back of the packaging.

Take your dog out every day for a walk. If they are a breed that needs a long and energetic walk, then it is essential that you allow them to do this. If you are not able to take them, ask a family member or friend if they can help, or find a local dog walker that is able to take them. 

Give them plenty of puzzles and toys that they can interact with around the house. Dogs love solving puzzles and searching for things, and this mental engagement will help their mental health too. Just like us, dogs can get depressed. 

If you notice that your dog is off their food every, or are not interested in going for walks, or playing anymore, then visit the vets. You need to be sure that you are keeping an eye out for if your dog ever gets ill, as they may not be able to tell you in a way that you understand. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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