Getting A Dog | Dog Boarding | Don't Fret Pet

Getting a Dog

getting a dog

Many people think about getting a dog for the wrong reasons.  Typical reasons for adding a dog to the family include companionship, rescuing, being given one by family or a friend, teaching children responsibility, and for relaxation.  Companionship is by far the most common reason for getting a dog (42%).  (Animal Medicines Australia)

It is not just about you wanting a dog.  It is important to take the time to think if it would be in a dog’s interest to have YOU as their human!

How much time can you devote to your dog?

Before getting a dog, take the time to think about how much time you have to devote to him.

It’s always very sad to hear about people who have bought or adopted a dog and then don’t have time to spend with him.  Dogs are pack animals and like to be with their pack – you!

When you walk in the door your dog will be very happy to see you.  If you have the time to spend with him, to walk him, talk to him, play with him, that’s great.

If you have a busy life and are hardly ever home, then it really doesn’t make sense to have a dog who is left alone hour after hour and hardly gets to see you.  This is when you end up with problems like barking and destructive behaviours.  And, under these circumstances it is not the dog’s fault.

getting a dog
Pexels photo by Helena Lopes

Is it likely that your life is going to change in a few years?

Getting married soon? Having kids? Lots of travel planned?  Major career change?  How will that affect your dog’s life? Is now the right time to be getting a dog?

Take the time to consider how your future might change and how that would affect a dog if you got one now.

If you plan to have kids, consider the breed of dog and be sure it is good with children.  Also consider how much or how little time you will have to care for your dog.

Have you considered the cost of getting a dog?

According to the Australian Veterinary Association, over the lifespan of a dog, owners spend an average of $25,000.

Firstly, there is the initial cost of buying or adopting a dog.  The adoption fees at the RSPCA are currently $580 for a pup under 12 months or $480 for a dog over 12 months.  Of course, buying a pure breed pup will be a lot more, most likely in the thousands of dollars.

Then there is the cost of all the initial things you will need to buy after getting a dog:

  • bed – $100-$200
  • car restraint – probably starting at $40
  • collar and lead – $25-$100
  • food and water bowls – $20-$75
  • toys – depends on what you buy
  • desexing – $200-$500
  • microchipping $60-$80
  • name tag $6-$50
  • puppy vaccinations $170-$250

The ongoing costs of getting a dog include:

  • food – $600-$100 per year, depending on size of dog and quality of food
  • flea and worming treatments – $120-$300 per year
  • council registration
  • vaccinations (now every three years) or titre testing
  • grooming $70-$120 per visit, depending on breed
  • toys and treats – depends on what you think is right for your dog
  • veterinary care – depends on need and fingers crossed that your dog remains healthy and accident free as this can blow out to thousands of dollars
  • pet insurance – The average cost of pet insurance can vary between $25 and $80 per month.

The RSPCA estimates that the cost of keeping a dog is a minimum of $910 per annum but other estimates are more like $1500 per annum.

It is important to consider if you are prepared to spend this much in the way of initial costs and then ongoing expenses.

getting a dog
Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay

Cleaning up

Unless you adopt a low or non-shedding dog into your home you will have a constant supply of dog hair to clean off the floor, furniture and your clothes.  Many dog owners feel that the joy of having their dog far outweighs the amount of sweeping, vacuuming and brushing they have to do.  If you don’t think you can handle this, definitely consider getting a non-shedding dog.

There’s also the task of scooping up that poop.  This is a daily task so make sure you’re prepared to do this.

Research different breeds before getting a dog

It’s really important to choose a breed that suits you, your family and your environment.  Having the right breed for you can be the difference between having a wonderful time with your dog and having a number of issues. 

There are numerous sites where you can enter information and have a breed suggested.  Even when a breed is suggested it is essential that you do your own research on that breed as these sites don’t always get it right.

An alternative to having a full-time dog

If you are a dog lover but feel that you are not in a position to take on the responsibility of getting a dog of your own you could consider becoming a “Don’t Fret Pet!” dog minder.  You can enjoy the companionship of a dog without the cost and be rewarded with a wagging tail and a daily allowance.

Featured image by Jojo Samek from Pixabay


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