How to be a responsible dog owner

New best friend

Just around Christmas time many families will have the brilliant idea of getting a new pet – A dog, cat or even something smaller like a rabbit or a bird… for some of them this decision will be well thought through, but sadly for some it may well be a rushed decision made in the heat of the moment.

In light of this, I have put together a list of important things to consider whilst getting a new pet, especially a dog, but to the same extent it will work for any pet.

Please remember that pets are not just for Christmas and they will stay with you long after you have forgotten all about the festive season, so think before you decided to get a new companion.

So this is my little guide on how to be a responsible dog owner…

Never, ever buy a pet in a heat of a moment

This is happening way too often, you go somewhere, see a cute fluffy puppy and before you know it; you’re driving him home with you… Bad idea!

Do your research

This is really important! Find the bread you love, but most importantly a breed which will fit into your lifestyle… for example do not buy a Husky if you hate walking… once you pick your perfect breed read about it, talk to other owners and if you are happy with what you read and hear start looking for a good breeder. Identify traits and problematic behaviours that may become evident in adulthood. You want your pup to be from a good home, I am not suggesting that it must be a show dog, but find a breeder who cares about dogs and doesn’t do it just for the money. Make sure that your pup is health checked, that you meet his/her parents, look further down the genetic line to check for any problems from the past. If you do this right, your chances of getting a healthy pet are so much greater.

Or if you are not keen on a weeing, chewing pup with endless energy levels maybe consider a rescue dog, but again do your research before you hand over the money and sign any contract (yes, you will be asked to sign a rescue contract, ours for Lilly was almost as long as the one which we signed whilst buying our house).

Check your finance

Yes, you are reading it right. Pets are not free and they do not live on air. You will need money for food, treats, pet accessories like leads, collars, harness, pet bedding, toys etc but most important you will need dog insurance, because everyone knows vets are extremely expensive places to visit. Some owners forget about the cost of the vet, but you simply cannot ignore the fact that your new best friend will need vaccination and it will most likely get sick every now and then. When getting a large breed think about transport… can you fit your dog and all other members of your family into your current car? We had to buy a bigger car when Bunk stopped being a pup, simply because we couldn’t travel all at once in my little Astra but at least we had planned for this before we got him.

Look at your home and lifestyle

This is something many people ignore but try and answer these questions honestly:

Is my home pet friendly?

Will I have time for my new friend?

What will happen when I have to go away?

If you work 10 hours a day, like your home perfect, clean, gloop and hair free, like weekends away – is a dog really for you?

Do you have friends who will be able to look after your pup when you go away or will you make a passport for your dog so he/she can travel with you (which mean’s even more money and expense)?

A dog will change your life but you have to be sure you are ready for those changes and will be able to handle it on a daily basis.

Josh Billings once said:

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”

Are you ready to take this responsibility and return that feeling?

This is a sponsored post and I have a link to Argos in it but in reality you are spoilt for choice if you are looking to insure your pet. There are other providers you can find via searching on Google or Yell so I recommend you get quotes from more than one company and compare prices and what is covered.

47 thoughts on “How to be a responsible dog owner

  1. Great post!!! My kids are always asking for a dog, but I refuse to get one for them, because I know that they will not do what they need to do to take care of a dog. I wish more people, would truly do the research before getting a dog. gig

  2. Such a great great post!! I read the most HORRIFYING post recently on the percentage of dogs being put down at shelters who are voluntarily surrendered by their owners because they got in over their heads, just disgusting. Your post should be required reading!! 🙂 #GIGLove

  3. Great post and great advice! I’ve never gotten a dog, no matter how badly I want a pomeranian, because I know I’m the lazy type of person and I wouldn’t commit to taking care of it long-term. GIG

  4. Agreed!! A dog is like a child to you. I get very very angry when I see people abusing dogs! There is no other species who is so loyal and such a lovely companion as a dog!

  5. these are such a great tips! It makes me sad when people only uses them as ‘gifts’ not having into account how of a big responsibility having a pet really is, they are just like a child. I love dogs!!! hehehe <3

  6. So true. Pets are a living thing – there are responsibilities for it too. These are good tips. Thank you for sharing

  7. This is such a useful guide and I think you should give a copy everywhere to make people understand that having a dog is not a game. I’ve never had a pet because I live in the very center of Rome and It would be no fair for it 🙁 even if I wish I could try that special love one day. The one in the picture up on the right is so sweet. I simply adore.
    xxx
    mari

  8. This is so important to remember! When I got Hendrix I got him from a private advert, I went to the house and all seemed fine but in the kitchen it was clear this girl had kept him locked in a cage and he was out for our benefit (He does not like small spaces even now), she had had him less than a week. I walked out with him and he was asleep in my arms before I got to the car.

    My mum is currently looking for a dog, taken her three years after lovely George died. The amount of people who fork out hundreds of pounds for a dog and dump them or mistreat them is heart breaking!

    It is hard work having a puppy. Yes great fun but hard work. I hope your post gets through to people Agata and less puppies are abandoned or abused next year.

    1. When we were looking for a Newfie pup I was really surprise how much they cost, but now I am glad that dogs are so expensive… the cost of pup itself might stop some people from getting it just for the sake of owning a dog.

  9. Excellent post, Responsible breeders also would never let you take a puppy home immediately, it needs socialization time with his litter mates. And I absolutely agree and have actually written a few posts myself about this recently. Don’t go and buy a herding dog or a sled dog that likes to work all day but you like to sit on the couch all day.. then get a low level energy dog. And yes, a major red flag is when you go to a “breeder” and there is not at least one of the parents present of the puppies. That is a major puppy mill alert.
    And another tip, Christmas is a horrible time to buy a puppy because you are most likely impulsive, but also… it is most likely cold outside and puppies pee a LOT.. if you don’t want to entirely hate the housebreaking process you better buy your puppy during spring or summer when you will not hate going outside every 30 minutes… because that is what it will be at first if not more.. every 30 minutes.
    A lot of people romanticize getting a puppy. And it is a VERY nice experience… it also asks dedication and time and most of all endless patience!
    Great blog post!

    1. Thank you for your input.
      We got Bunk in summer and he spend his first months in the house with garden doors always open, in case he had to go… it was a perfect time for us to get a pup… but I know people who got a puppy and lock him in a cage while going to work for 9h… heartbreaking

  10. I really agree with what you said. Pets need to be cared for. You can’t just buy them give ’em away once you can’t handle the responsibility. That’s wrong! They are a man’s best friend, one of the best companions.

    Giglove

  11. Great post! I know so many people that get a dog…and the they dont want them anymore, and my mom keeps them all! hahahaha.

    giglove!

    novelstyle.blogspot.com

  12. I have a dog and this is great advice! I think people often times rush into it without thinking about the best fit for your family and even if you are up to the responsibilty of having a dog, because they are work!

  13. Thanks for the post. My hubby and I always go back and forth about this issue. We live in an apt too small to house a big dog as he wants a boxer. I also know that I would be the one that has to walk, feed and bathe it and that is where I put my foot down. I love dogs but right now is not the right time for one.

  14. If more people took your advice I wouldn’t have had to foster 20 dogs in the past 4 years, as much as I loved them I would have preferred them to have happy lives in their first homes.

I love all comments :-)