A new dog - think before you buy

Deciding to buy a dog or a puppy, should be a careful, well-thought out decision.

A dog can be the most rewarding of pets, but also one of the most demanding.  Before you begin please think first. Is there really time for a dog in your life, and can you give a commitment that might be anything up to 10-12 years, possibly more?

Do you have the time to provide the exercise and training that a dog requires throughout its life, provide a safe and secure home and afford a suitable and nutritious diet that will ensure the very best of health?

Other considerations may be;

  • Your health and age.
  • Do you want an active or sedentary animal?
  • Some dogs require almost constant attention, lots of exercise and stimulation.
  • Others are more laid back; therefore you need to research which dog will suit you and your family's lifestyle.

This might seem like common sense, but the sad fact is that too many people buy a dog or puppy without thinking everything through. Then there are tales of woe when it is deemed that the dog may not fit in with work commitments, family commitments and different lifestyle.

For a dog or puppy, being placed into a strange environment where nothing is familiar can be a frightening experience. Spend the first few days welcoming the dog or puppy into your family, giving it lots of attention and mental stimulation and showing it the basics of what’s right and what’s wrong, where it can eat, sleep and go to the toilet. Create a positive experience at all times.

Vaccination is important to prevent your dog from becoming ill from infectious diseases.

It stimulates the body’s own defence system to produce protective antibodies in the blood. The micro-organisms that cause disease can be widespread in certain areas of the U.K and unvaccinated dogs are at risk from a range of life-threatening diseases such as canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, infectious canine hepatitis and kennel cough.  Always check that your dog or puppy has had the essential vaccinations or visit your vet to find out more information.

It is important to choose the correct diet for your dog or pup.

Rapid growth can cause health problems in later life, so it’s best to feed a high quality, low protein and low fat food to enable your puppy to grow strong but steady. Avoid the temptation to fill the dog with treats and sweets on top of his daily allowance, and if you do then take what ever treats are given out of the total food given in the day. Always provide a ready supply of fresh drinking water.

Dogs and puppies need lots of time, care and patience. Follow these guidelines and your efforts will be positively rewarded.