Thinking of getting a dog.

(7 Posts)
StuntGirl Wed 25-Sep-13 13:10:29

What sort of research did you do before getting a dog?

We're looking at getting a rescue dog in the next few months, it will be my first dog in about 6 years and my partners first ever dog. I'm compiling a list of all the dog-related paraphernalia we'll need and associated costs, plus researching local dog trainers, walkers, groomers, kennels for if we ever need them...

Am I going overboard? I haven't had dogs since I lived at home with my parents so the general costs of keeping the dog were not my responsibility last time. I just want to make sure we have everything we need, and we can actually afford to go ahead with this. I'm also absolutely desperate to get a dog and worried that it means I'm going to overlook/minimise something important that I shouldn't!

mistlethrush Wed 25-Sep-13 13:15:19

Depends what sort of dog you're getting what things you need to get prepared on though...

The major costs are insurance / emergency vets treatment / jabs / food. Dog walker if you need one.

Classes - well it depends on the type of dog and the age of dog what classes might be required or be appropriate.

I would actually also write down the sort of dog characteristics / requirements that you would like in a dog and work out what breed might be suitable for you from that rather than deciding upon a breed without thinking of that, or indeed, going to a rescue centre with no mental list. Otherwise you'll come out with something that is potentially highly inappropriate for your requirements (depending upon the rescue place obviously) because you've gone for the looks of the dog over anything else.

[been there, managed not to do it!]

We did the above last autumn and ended up deciding that there was a lurcher shaped hole available - we've not been disappointed.

HindsightisaMarvellousThing Wed 25-Sep-13 13:15:21

No, I think you're doing exactly the right thing.

The biggest thing, other than cost, is working out who is going to do what for the dog, and when, just to make sure that the dog isn't going to be left for too long during the day. Make sure you have contingency plans for if you go out in the evening or away on holiday as well.

YippeeTeenager Wed 25-Sep-13 13:26:24

Definitely agree with mistlethrush about being really clear on preferred breeds before you start visiting rescue centres. I know they might not be pure breeds but knowing what you are really looking for and finding out about the dog's parentage as much as you can will help to make for a happy match. There are some very good What Dog, Which Breed books out there, and breeds really do seem to live up to their typecast characteristics a lot more than I expected. Good luck.

StuntGirl Wed 25-Sep-13 13:35:38

We know we need a small-medium sized dog, simply due to the size of our house. I know what dog I want, but realistically that isn't going to happen so it's just going to be a case of finding a rescue centre and letting them know our requirements, and letting them match us with the best dog.

Wrt insurance I had NO idea even what ballpark costs were, so we put a few different requirements on an insurance website and came back with around £30-40 p/m, does that sound about right? Because I'm basing our costs off £40 p/m at the moment...

Food I'm a bit stumped on, our dogs when I was growing up ate a variety of different kinds of wet dog food, the last one ended up on chicken and rice every day. I need to look more into the different kinds, although with a rescue dog I suppose there's a possibility the choice will be made for me if they'll only eat a certain kind!

I work part time and my partner works full time, between us there's only really one or two days a week they'd be alone for part of the day. My brother lives 10 minutes away and has agreed if we ever go on holiday he'll dog sit for us, although it's kinda moot anyway because we've never been abroad, and when we holiday in this country it's at my parents pet friendly caravan site in the lakes.

Is there anything fundamental I'm not considering?

cq Wed 25-Sep-13 13:47:38

Is your house suitable? Muddy paws in the winter are enough to drive you insane. Also, one of my dogs is partial to rolling in fox poo, so make sure you have an outside tap and hose for those emergency baths! A utility room or back porch are good places for leaving wet dogs to dry on a pile of old towels.

Get a couple of second hand baby stairgates so you can keep the new dog where you want him without shutting doors in his face - they feel less isolated that way and less inclined to damage stuff. Maybe look into buying or borrowing a dog crate for his own sanctuary, and a good place to leave him securely when you start leaving him alone.

Arrange to collect him on a Friday afternoon so you have all weekend to settle him in and start getting him to relax before he is left alone at all.

Good luck and have fun searching - don't go for the first one that tugs your heartstrings!

StuntGirl Wed 25-Sep-13 13:58:47

Is your house suitable? Muddy paws in the winter are enough to drive you insane. Also, one of my dogs is partial to rolling in fox poo, so make sure you have an outside tap and hose for those emergency baths! A utility room or back porch are good places for leaving wet dogs to dry on a pile of old towels.

Le sigh. It's a terraced house; front door leads right into the living room, back door leads right into the kitchen. No utility rooms or porches. Everything is laminate though, so easy enough to wipe/mop up. We could come in via the back though and wash him/her off in the back garden before bringing them in if particularly dirty.

Having to deal with a dog who has rolled in poo is probably a thousand times better than having to clean a white horse who has done it angry grin

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