Having a dog is a big commitment but worth it all for the love they give you.
When you come home they are so enthusiastic and pleased to see you (more so than my complaining kids ever are!), they bound over to cover you in doggy kisses with their tail wagging ten to the dozen.
But when you get a dog you need to make sure you invest time and energy training it, trying to socialise it with over dogs and different people as often as you can and helping it familiarise with various scenario’s will help increase its confidence as it grows (dogs can get scared over the smallest of things, ours saw a boot on a wall and she growled and growled because it was unfamiliar and not something she expected to see there!).
Sadly our dog had a bad experience with another dog and has not been quite the same with other dogs since, if she is familiar with a dog and had time to get to know it she is okay, but if its an unknown she goes on the defensive, she shows her teeth and looks quite fierce. So we have been taking her to fly ball classes so she can gradually realise that not all dogs want to attack her and she can relax a little as she learns a new skill.
Make sure you register your dog with a vet and get their vaccinations arranged, this is very important to protect them against infectious diseases. It is worthwhile looking at pet insurance like that offered by Petplan, as dogs get older you might find your beloved pet developing a medical condition and its worth having insurance in place to help with the cost of unexpected vet fees. Our old dog had an ongoing heart condition at the end and sadly we had cancelled the pet insurance a year before, so had no cover. I do think it’s helpful to give you some kind of reassurance if your pet does get unwell or hurt in an accident.
We always microchipped our dogs as I was worried if our dog ever got lost I wanted to make it was as easy as possible for us to be reunited. It is actually compulsory from the 6th of April in England and Wales, a legal requirement that all current and soon to be dog owners need to be aware of. I think it’s a good thing, because you never know when your dog might go missing, we had a workman in years ago and they left the front door open allowing our dog to escape, I was beside myself with worry but fortunately we managed to track her down unharmed, which was nothing short of a miracle given we used to live on a busy main road. Microchipping is quite simple and quick, ours was included for free when our new dog was neutered, but as a stand-alone procedure it’s not very expensive.
This post was possible thanks to Petplan but all thoughts are my own.