Yes, dogs are adorable, but before you rush out and get one, there are a few things you need to think about first.
Lockdowns have changed Kiwis’ lives in many ways – we’ve adapted to working from home, mastered baking banana bread, cancelled plans for international travel, and loads of us have decided the time is right to adopt that adorable pup we’ve always longed for. But just because you’re at home more than you used to be, are you really ready for a dog?
To make sure you’re all clued up, here are eight things to consider before getting a pooch.
1 Can you commit long-term?
The average lifespan of a dog is 13 years. If you’re itching to travel the world once the borders open or pining for a career change that will alter your living circumstances, it might not be the right time for a furry addition to your family. You need to be ready for a long-term commitment – from the energetic puppy stage to your dog’s golden years. If you are ready to commit, the joys will be immense!
2. Can you afford a dog?
(Wo)Man’s best friend doesn’t come cheap! You’ll need to pay for food and treats, a lead and collar, bedding, poo bags, toys, a dog crate, vaccinations and registration. You may also need to take your furry friend to a grooming salon or a boarding kennel if you go on holiday. Don’t forget pet insurance – vet bills are expensive! You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to say goodbye to your beloved pet because you can’t afford a life-saving operation. Visit PD Insurance to find out more about simple, affordable pet insurance with no lock-in contract.
3. Can you keep your pal company?
Dogs are pack animals and don’t like to spend long periods of time alone. A lot of workplaces are dog-friendly (at Woman, we regularly enjoy the company of Pat the Schnoodle, Ruby the Bichon Frise, and Bella, a Cairn Terrier/Miniature Schnauzer cross), but not all offices can accommodate canines. If you have a full-time job, you’ll need to look into dogsitters or doggy daycare so your pet doesn’t get lonely.
4. Do you have enough time?
If you work all day and juggle kids’ activities and weekend sports, can you really spare the time to train, exercise, bathe, groom and play with your new companion? Dogs need a lot of attention – especially as puppies! Or if you’re used to up and leaving for a fun weekend with friends at a minute’s notice, you’ll need to take the time to plan who will look after your pet in your absence.
5. Will you really walk your dog?
Some breeds need more exercise than others – hello, retrievers, collies and terriers – but all dogs must be walked every day, even when it’s cold or pouring with rain. If you don’t take your dog out for a walk because you run out of time or can’t be bothered, they can become overweight and bored, which damages their physical and mental health. The upside is, those outdoor walks will improve your health too.
6. Do you have the right space for a dog?
Does your home have room for a fully grown dog? If you live in an inner-city apartment with no backyard, then a Great Dane probably isn’t going to be the perfect fit. You’ll also need to pet- proof your pad. Toxic foods need to be out of your dog’s reach, hanging cords tucked away and sections fully fenced. If you have expensive furniture, covers or throws to protect it are a good idea.
7. Are you ready to deal with the poo?
If you’re adopting a puppy, it will likely pee and poo on the floor until it’s completely toilet trained. You need to ask yourself whether you’re prepared for this extra cleaning. Your dog will need to be let out during the day and possibly during the night. You will also need a stash of poo-bags with you when you take your pooch for a walk and you’ll be picking up your dog’s deposits on a daily basis for the rest of its life.
8. Have you talked to your family?
Getting a dog is a big commitment and will impact everyone who lives with you, so make sure that everyone’s on board. Your dog is part of your family and will need lots of love and affection, but the good news is they will give it back to you many times over!
Why do you need pet insurance?
It’s simple: when your pet gets sick or injured, pet insurance – from providers such as PD Insurance – helps pay the vet bill.
It also offers cover for pet care costs when they’re well – things such as vaccinations, desexing, microchipping, boarding fees and more.
Being a pet parent is one of life’s greatest delights. Like all great things, it tugs at the heartstrings and can bring as many concerns as it does joys. Especially when it comes to your fur baby’s health.
That’s why pet insurance is crucial, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. PD Insurance has a range of policies that offer you and your pet the protection you both deserve.