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Before You Buy your New Dog

This article has been produced as a guide only.
For expert help and advice always consult your vet or breeder.

A Dog is for life — Not just for Christmas or any other special occasion.

If you are considering caring for a pet you must realise the importance of such a decision and should honestly answer “YES’ to all the questions below Replying “NO’, to even one question must put serious doubt into your mind as to whether or not you are really suited to being a dog owner.

Please consider the following very carefully:

Do you have suitable accommodation for your intended breed?
A large and lively dog needs space to exercise effectively. A flat dweller in a tower block should consider a smaller more docile breed.

Can you afford to feed your dog?
Although regular feeds can cost as little as £3 to £5 per week there may be times when a special diet is required i.e. short or long term due to illness or during convalescence.

Can you afford kennel fees?
If you go away on holiday for example a relative or friend might not always be there to step in and dog sit for you.

Can you afford to pay for vet fees and insurance?
If your dog is ill or has an accident, vet fees can very quickly run in to hundreds of pounds. Even if your dog is insured, you may have to pay the first part of the bill. Also insurance companies my not cover the on going treatment. Always check your insurance policy very carefully.

If you work, can you be sure that there will be someone in the house with the dog?
A bored dog can become very destructive. It's not fair to the dog and employing a dog sitter can be a very expensive option. Dogs need toys to keep their brain active and keep them occupied.

Can you really be bothered to give your dog the exercise it needs Every Day?
Depending on the breed you choose, exercise times can vary from 1 to 3 hours per day, And don't forget that you will have to go out in All Weather Conditions. Always carry a disposable bag to clean up after your dog and avoid fines.

Do you have the time and money to keep your dog properly groomed?
Short haired breeds may only need a quick brush over 3 or 4 times a week but a large hairy breed like a Rough Collie would need considerably more time spent caring for its coat including regular bathing.

Finally, but most importantly can you say YES to all the above questions for 12 to 16 years?
Elderly people need to be honest about their capabilities in the future and younger people need to he honest about their lifestyle and how it could change during this period.

Other important points to bear in mind
When traveling in cars your dog should have a restraint i.e. a harness which you slot into the existing car seat belt, or a fixed cage in the back of your vehicle.

Do not drive with an open window near the dog where it can put its head out. Not only is this dangerous for obvious reasons but it can cause conjunctivitis.

Always carry water and a bowl for your dog whatever the trip.

Most Important
Always be kind, caring and understanding at all times.

This article has been reproduced courtesy of Dogs (Correct at time of publication)

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