More and more households are beginning to have a four-legged friend of some sort in their midst. One of the pets that has experienced the most consistent and long-lasting popularity amongst families has proven to be the dog. This isn’t all too surprising! They give us unconditional love, make us laugh, and are there for us whenever we need. What’s more? They help to lower your blood pressure, give you and your children stronger immune systems, and can help with mental health problems. Now, while dogs can offer a whole lot of benefits for your family, you need to remember that owning one entails a two-way relationship. As well as considering what a dog can do for your family, you need to consider what your family can provide for a dog. These creatures tend to be highly dependent, and they live for extended periods of time, truly becoming a part of the family. So are you ready to take on another family member? To help you decide, here’s everything you need to know about meeting a dog’s needs.
Veterinary Bills and Insurance
If you have your dog from a puppy, you are going to come face to face with veterinary bills pretty early on. All puppies require thorough check ups that include vaccinations, worming, flea treatments, and microchipping. You may also want to consider having your pet neutered. For female dogs, neutering promotes a longer and healthier life, preventing uterine infections, and breast tumours. She also won’t go into heat. For male dogs, neutering helps to prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems. It also becomes less likely that they will stray from home looking for a mate. This isn’t where veterinary costs necessarily end though. Veterinary care will continue throughout your pet’s life with booster injections and treatments for any illness or injuries. Generally speaking, it’s best to make sure that your pet is insured. This means that should any problems arise down the line, you won’t be hit with huge veterinary bills. Before buying or adopting any dog, you need to ensure that you can meet these payments.
Now, onto a more regular requirement: your pet’s food. Different breeds of dog will have different dietary requirements. It’s always best to do your research before choosing a pooch, as you will be able to get a better idea of the cost of your potential pet’s eating habits. A Yorkshire Terrier, for example, will require around one quarter to half a cup of food a day. A Great Dane, on the other hand, will require seven to ten cups a day. Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the more sustenance they will need. You also need to bear in mind that individual dogs will also have different requirements. You generally won’t become aware of this until you already have your dog and become used to their unique eating habits and preferences. Some dogs will be intolerant of certain ingredients, while others will have sensitive stomachs. This means that you might need to get specialist foods which, generally speaking, cost a little more. You will also need to know how many times a day your dog should eat. Most adult dogs will be fine with one large meal a day, or two smaller meals split into morning and evening feeds. However, puppies will generally require smaller meals throughout the day. Whether to feed your dog wet or dry food tends to be personal preference. Most dogs will prefer wet food, so if you’re willing to spend a little more and clean up a little more mess, this should definitely be the way to go.
Treats and Toys
Chances are you wouldn’t be all too content if you spent your days eating the same meal over and over again and contenting yourself with your own entertainment. Dogs will feel exactly the same! This is why it’s so important that you provide them with regular treats and toys. Now, remember that treats should only be complementary to your dog’s usual diet. They should never replace your pet’s basic food. Choose high-quality treats where possible, such as those supplied by http://veratreats.com/. This will ensure that your dog is consuming the highest quality ingredients possible, rather than filler or unhealthy options that are the equivalent of doggy junk food. You can experiment with different types of treats, and along the way, you will generally notice which are your pooch’s personal favourites. You can invest in these more regularly. Toys are also a great way to keep your pup as happy as possible. They stimulate their mind and encourage play. Again, every pooch will have their individual favourites. Some dogs will like playing with balls, others will prefer pull ropes, while some will be content with a cuddly teddy bear to carry around. Try to purchase toys that are specifically designed with dogs in mind, as they will tend to be a little more durable and will be made of materials that won’t hurt or damage their mouth.
When you get a dog, you need to accept that this is not a pet that can stay indoors forever. No matter how large or small they may be, they need their exercise! You can check up how far your specific breed will need to be walked each day. Generally speaking, the smaller your dog, the less exercise it will require and the larger your dog, the further it will need to be walked. However, certain breeds, such as Springer Spaniels, have surprisingly high energy levels and are better suited to those with plenty of secure land for them to run free on or with the time to take them on long daily walks. Remember to always keep your dog on a lead when in a public space. This is for their own safety and others’ safety too. Rather than clipping the lead onto your dog’s collar, invest in a harness. This better supports your dog and reduces their chances of slipping out!
As you can see, there are plenty of things to bear in mind before getting a dog of your own. They are living creatures, and they are dependent, so there are plenty of needs that you’re going to have to meet. But at the end of the day, if you can provide them with enough love, taking care of them is a privilege that is rewarded tenfold!