Getting a new dog can be nerve-racking. Most owners understand the general principles of owning a dog: treat it well, feed and water them, take them on walks and give them love and affection. However, some owners do struggle in getting the basics down, and that is why we are here to help.
We have split this guide into two separate sections so you easily find what’s right for you.
Before getting a dog:
- Are you – or your home – ready for the challenge?
Getting a new dog comes with its challenges. You should ensure that you have the right budget to look after a dog. Depending on where you live, and the shops and vets around you, you should expect to pay around £25 a week to maintain your dog.
There are even steps you can take to help reduce the cost of owning a new dog and even ways you can make money from them, that we have covered.
If you are planning on getting a puppy, understand that the first few days – or weeks – can be both mentally and physically demanding. There may be many many sleepless nights, make sure you are prepared for this.
Make sure your home is fully prepared for the arrival of your new dog by ensuring you have the right equipment:
- Bowls. Commonly made of ceramic or stainless steel – either work. Ensure that there is a separate bowl for their food and water.
- Lead and Collar. Training your new dog to walk on the lead as soon as you get them will save you a lot of hassle further down the line.
- A bed. Ensuring they have their own bed in a place they can safely retreat to is essential.
- Food. Puppies, Juniors and Senior dogs all have their own food. Depending on your dogs age, stock up on the appropriate food for them.
How committed are you? Remember that dogs’ need to get exercise daily, whether it’s in the baking sun or the pouring rain.
If your new dog is a puppy, they may also need socialising. Check in your local area if their are puppy classes or dog walking clubs nearby. The clubs and classes can be a place where both you and your dog make new friends for life.
After getting a dog:
- Keep an eye on your dog’s health.
Take them to the vet for a visit as soon as you get your new dog, this will primarily be for a general check up, but you will also need to discuss microchipping, neutering, worming and vaccinations.
Visit the Vet regularly and address any identified issues as soon as possible. This can potentially reduce the risk of additional expenses that you may not be prepared for. If you are concerned about the cost of owning a dog, read our guide on how you can reduce expenses.
Another thing that you should mention when visiting the vet is pet insurance. Sorting out a plan for the long-term can help ensure that should your dog ever need expensive treatment, they will be able to get it.
In the UK, it is a legal requirement for them to be registered and microchipped. Getting this out the way as soon as possible will prevent you from breaking the law and facing up to a £1,000 fine!
Do not overfeed your dog, stick to regular feeding times and controlled portions as recommended by the food brand of your choice. Overfeeding can result is a variety of problems, including arthritis and diabetes to name a few.
As they grow older, their needs and sleeping requirements will change with them. Keep their bed relevant to their age and size. You can help find the ideal bed for them here.
Have fun! Make sure that you spend quality time with your new dog and enjoy every second with them.
They’re a part of the family now, and now it is up to you to make their life the best life possible.
Have you got a new dog? How are they settling in to their new home? We would love to see your images!
Send us your photos over on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!