Things to think about when owing a dog

(22 Posts)
tollyandfeste Thu 21-Mar-13 21:26:28

Great post OP and all points valid and well made. Also don't get a dog if you are going to ditch it the minute children come along. They are not something for you to use to 'test' your commitment as a couple or try out patenting skills on only to be passed over or rehomed when babies arrive.

bubble2bubble Thu 21-Mar-13 13:35:29

Please don't be like the owner of a beautiful 5 month old retriever I just met this morning who said " well you can't really go out if it's raining , can you? " confused.
FWIW it was about the start raining so poor pup can't have had much walk today either

pinguwings Thu 21-Mar-13 12:43:26

Lady I will try and sort out some pictures. She's a one year old tricoloured collie cross. We're all completely in love... except our 16 year old cat who has put her firmly in her place!

These boards were a huge help in our planning and decision making so thank you everyone!

MrsDeVere Thu 21-Mar-13 12:29:53

Insurance is the ideal lots. I had my little dog insured but had to stop when the premiums increased so much. Now I have the two I have been looking at deals and the prices seem much better.

Trouble is that the excess usually covers everything!

I would recommend insurance generally though.

EasyToEatTiger Thu 21-Mar-13 11:28:14

Some dogs need a bit more than just a walk - they need interaction and something to do. I think it can be hard work keeping a dog and it can be difficult to know how much hard work. For some people, dog ownership becomes a chore. They have to be the ones to decide to go back to the drawing board and get training!

LadyTurmoil Thu 21-Mar-13 08:55:54

pinguwings you can't just tease us with your "gentle, intelligent and beautiful" comment. Pictures please! grin

lotsofdogshere Thu 21-Mar-13 07:57:35

Mrs DeVere - insurance is a tough one isn't it. Some 14 years ago, I cancelled the pet insurance for our old rescue boy when he got to 4 and was a calmer boy than when he arrived at 18 months, so I'd hoped less likely to have accidents. We were at one of those "every penny needed" stages of life. 6 weeks after I cancelled, he jumped a barbed wire fence to chase feral cats in the next field when out walking. He slit through the skin between his body and penis. The subsequent operation cost £180, he was in overnight on a drip etc. As the savings I'd started for him only amounted to £10 by then, you can imagine the horrors. My old rescue boy didn't cost me another penny (other than annual check ups/vaccination updates) until his final 6 months, at age 15 so the bank account would have worked. I can currently afford to insure my dogs and have decided to do that because vets bills just seem to grow by the day. A broken leg/chronic health problem can quickly build up costs. But, I agree with you, anything we can do helps

MrsDeVere Wed 20-Mar-13 19:06:38

There is an alternative to dog insurance
A dog bank account.

Insurance seems to have calmed down a bit now but at one point it was incredibly expensive (tripling from one year to the next).

If people are wary of insurance a regular savings account is an alternative. Not ideal but much better than nothing.

MrsDeVere Wed 20-Mar-13 19:04:51

All dogs need exercise
even tiny ones
even non terrier tiny ones.
even tiny ones with access to a big garden.

They need to be socialised and they cant do that in your garden.

Jayne266 Wed 20-Mar-13 18:58:32

Good point OP I have just read another thread about a dog and the expense is a issue and I didn't even write a comment as I am so tired of hearing about it.

I also second dog insurance they cover more than you think.

pinguwings Wed 20-Mar-13 18:43:04

Rescue dogs do not all have issues.

THIS!

We got our rescue dog on Saturday and honestly I have never met a dog who is as gentle, intelligent and beautiful. Keep pinching myself!

Pandemoniaa Tue 19-Mar-13 17:36:29

I'd also add "Never assume that small dogs are easy dogs".

MrsWolowitz Tue 19-Mar-13 14:23:18

Oh no lots you weren't ranting.

No need to apologise! smile

lotsofdogshere Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:53

Mrs Wolowitz, sorry if I was overly ranting about the shedding thing. I have been shocked by the number of dogs handed in for re-homing because their coats shed. Attempts to breed dogs for those with allergies, such as labradoodles, haven't been entirely successful, as a result of which there are so many of these lovely poodle crosses in rescue.

Dogs need to go out, whatever the weather. You are going to have to go out with them. Think about that and then buy good waterproofs.

If you go on holiday, you're going to need to take the dog or plan suitable alternative accommodation for the dog. You're going to need to plan this well in advance...probably before you get the dog.

Museums, theme parks and National Trust properties are nice places to visit, but you can't take your dog. You can't leave the dog home alone all day either and you definitely can't leave the dog in the car, so you're going to have to think about that too.

I want a dog. These are some of the things I'm considering.

This last one I've seen in action. Probably not fair to generalise but...if anyone in your house wants a dog, no matter how much they want that dog, it's probably going to be you who ends up doing the bulk of the dog care. You really, truly have to want that dog too, and to be prepared to accept all the responsibility that entails. Actually, the same goes for any pet. Stop saying that you got your kids a pet and now they've lost interest! Of course they have - they're children!! They don't have the emotional maturity to be solely responsible for anything - that's why you look after them! I don't care if they promised you they'd look after it - you are stupid to have believed them!!

And breathe.

imawigglyworm Sun 17-Mar-13 09:15:31

I would personally say get pet insurance, its well worth it especially if money is tight when an unexpected illness or injury occurs.
Also PLEASE get them neutered or spayed. There's far too many dogs in rescue centres as it is, why potentially add to it? Not all new owners of the puppies will/be able to keep them for their whole life. For uncontrollable reasons or more commonly as we have a 'throw away' generation! People are too quick to get 'bored' of animals hmm
Get your dog microchipped, it only costs about £20 but will increase your chance of finding them if they run off, etc.

MrsWolowitz Sun 17-Mar-13 09:06:17

Lotsofdogs I agree with most of what you said but I think that if people want a non shedding dog they should still have one.

My mum is asthmatic and has allergies but is a very experienced dog owner and loves her dogs. She has schnauzers and Maltese (Maltesers/Malteseses? What's the plural)?

There are very low shedding dogs out there so it is very possible to have a dog even if you have allergies, you just need to be careful. Allergies are not a complete barrier to having a pooch.

lotsofdogshere Sun 17-Mar-13 09:01:31

Yes agree - so many people buy a bundle of fluff, and are surprised when it becomes a dog. Dogs are like children in many ways, they need good routines and boundaries, lots of fresh air and exercise and a healthy diet. They are not an accessory, and if you don't want the hassle of extra hoovering and cleaning, lots of walking whatever the weather, putting the time in throughout the dogs life, then it really is better not to get one. One of my dogs is a labradoodle, and I'm constantly being told by people that I'm lucky, as the dog won't shed, and will be easy to train. These are some of the many myths about doodles. If you want a non shedding dog, I'd suggest you don't get a dog at all. Don't buy from the internet, gum tree, pre loved etc. There are some great dogs waiting for families in breed rescue foster homes, or local dog shelter. I've just cracked though, after 40 years of rescue dogs and decided to buy a puppy last summer. He is a joy, and it's great to have a dog who is almost a year old, and didn't have bad experiences before coming to live with us.

MrsWolowitz Sun 17-Mar-13 08:06:03

Walk your dog!

I always feel sorry for dogs that don't get adequate walks.

SusanTheGranddaughterOfDeath Sat 16-Mar-13 23:53:16

Are you Val?

Couldn't agree more with all your points.

Cotapaxi Sat 16-Mar-13 23:08:54

I agree with all of your points OP!

Oh and don't fgs sake get a dog if you don't like mud, hair or walking!

idirdog Sat 16-Mar-13 15:18:10

I am new to MN and have been amazed and made really upset at some of the threads in the dog house. I just wanted to post a few things that people could think about before getting a dog to hopefully prevent some of the heartbreak posted on here.

1. Dogs will get ill - you must be willing to see the treatment through expensive or not.

2. Very few dogs are perfect (only in their owners eyes!) so you must be prepared to work at training them throughout their lives. This may mean calling in professional trainers and could cost money so you must be prepared for this.

3. Dogs will growl - that is GOOD and does not mean they are aggressive, just uncomfortable in that specific situation.

4. Children may be allergic to dogs - check this out BEFORE you get the dog

5. Money may become tight in the 16 years that you own the dog, you still need to be able to support the dog.

6. Dominance theory is a load of rubbish - anyone who uses the term alpha, pack leader, show them who is boss - walk away. If you still believe this is the case educate yourself with some reading.

7.Positive based training works for ALL dogs.

8. Children should not be allowed to manhandle dogs, lie on them cuddle them etc. Children need to learn to respect the dogs as the dogs will respect the children. Just because some dogs tolerate it, does not mean it is the right thing to happen.

9. Dog reactive dogs will not turn on your DC's for no reason. A reactive dog will have triggers that can be managed - this will not escalate to everything.

10. Reactive dogs can be a huge worry but with training can learn new behaviours easily - using positive based training methods.

11. If you see a dog on lead respect their personal space and keep your dog away even if "he just wants to play". In my opinion an over friendly dog causes as much trauma as a reactive dog and needs similar training.

12. Dogs are hard work, they will try to fit into your family life but will in their life time need extra attention and allowances made for them - you need to be prepared to do this.

13. Rescue dogs do not all have issues - you can see what you are getting with a rescue dog and a good rescue will match the right dog to the right person.

14. Never rehome privately or take on a dog from a private rehoming.

Sorry if I have gone on ........

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