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Is Getting a Dog the Right Choice For Your Family?

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Dogs make great family pets. These creatures can be playful, loyal and gentle. However, welcoming a canine companion into your home is a major commitment and it’s not something you should rush into. When things go wrong, dogs and owners can both suffer. According to a study conducted by the veterinary charity PDSA, over one million dogs across the UK are displaying behaviour problems. In many cases, this may be because owners are ill-equipped to deal with their animals.

If you’re thinking about getting a pooch, it’s worth considering the following points first.

Count the cost

Dogs can cost a lot of money. Before committing to one, you’ll need to tot up expenses including food, equipment, toys and medical treatments. To see how much health products such as parasite treatments cost, you can visit sites like http://www.wormers.co.uk/.

You may also need to take out health insurance for your animal. After all, medical bills for injuries and illnesses can quickly mount up, and you don’t want to find yourself in the heartbreaking position of being unable to offer your pet the best possible medical care.

Other potential expenses include grooming, training and kennel bills.

Your lifestyle

Dogs need lots of care and attention. The fact is, if you’re very busy with work and other commitments, you might not have time to look after them. As a general rule, you shouldn’t regularly leave the animals alone for more than a few hours at a time. If you can’t guarantee this, it may be better to think about getting another animal that will demand less attention.

You’ll also need to set aside time in your schedule for regular walks. Come rain or shine, your four-legged friend will require plenty of exercise.

The right environment

You must be able to provide your pooch with suitable living conditions too. For example, is your home too small to accommodate a large dog? You may even have to modify your property to make sure it’s suitable for a pet. Perhaps you’ll need to fix stair gates in your house to prevent your dog from entering certain areas.

Compatible with kids

Most kids love dogs, and these animals can help to teach youngsters about responsibility. However, you’ll need to make sure that any dogs you welcome into your house or flat are suited to being around tots. Also, you should never leave small children and dogs alone to without a responsible adult on hand to supervise.

Choose the right breed

If, after considering all these issues, you want to go ahead and get a dog, make sure you select a suitable breed. It should have an appropriate temperament and be the right size. Bear in mind that while all dogs start off small, some breeds quickly outgrow their surroundings. Therefore, it’s vital that you know how big an animal will be when it’s fully grown before you commit to getting it.

As long as you’re responsible and think carefully about all the implications of getting a dog, you stand to enjoy many happy years with your canine companion at your side.

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October 7, 2014