We love this blog entry, shared with us by Ellie from Pawsville Pet Minding
As a dog lover, I just can’t picture my life without a furry companion….or two….or more. So when I moved interstate to start a new job and life, it wasn’t long before I was on the lookout for my very own “girls best friend”. Growing up we always had pets. Coco was our darling English Pointer who stole our hearts and used tissues. He was all legs and not the brightest crayon in the pack, but he was our boy and we loved him dearly from that little puppy-ball of rolls until years later when he crossed the rainbow bridge.
During my search I started to realise just how many puppies and dogs are out there, and making a decision became overwhelming. I knew I didn’t have the time for a puppy so I wanted an adult or senior dog (for those who haven’t considered seniors, please do they are absolutely beautiful). I wanted an active dog, a larger dog and one that was gentle natured and good with cats as I have a kitty as well. I didn’t mind grooming but didn’t want long hair and was happy with a female or male. There were so many things to consider!
This made me think hard about what makes a dog suitable and how do we narrow down the search. They are family members afterall.
I came up with a thorough checklist. These are questions that I believe should be asked prior to considering a new pup. After discussion with other dog owners and prospective owners, sadly many of these things get overlooked in the excitement of “shopping”.
- Are you renting or do you own your home?
- If renting, have you contacted the agent/landlord and received written permission to keep pets?
- What is your plan if/when you move house? You will need to choose an animal friendly home and consider transport/pet sitter/moving stress etc.
- Have you considered the other family members and/or pets? Are there clear expectations of who is responsible for feeding, exercising, driving to vet appointments etc? Have you prepared them (speak to a reputable trainer about integrating them with small children/babies/other pets)
- Do you have any other major life events going on? Example, a new baby or changing jobs, start researching but hold off on making any decisions.
- Have you ever owned/looked after a dog?
- Are you prepared for a long term commitment? This may be 10 years or more!
Now you’ve discussed everything with the household and are ready to start looking. Exciting! Keep doing your research, and start filling your weekends with meet and greets! The second checklist of questions should help you to figure out where to look and how to prepare the household.
- Have you made a list of shelters and rescue groups to contact and meet with?
- What is your financial situation? Do you have money saved for unforeseen emergencies/regular vet checks/trainer etc?
- How will you deal with any behavioural issues? Have you researched trainers and prepared to put in work?
- Have you looked into how to care for a senior dog? This can be a 24/7 job depending on their condition in later years.
- Do you know what your local laws and council regulations regarding pets are?
- Do you have at least 2 ID tags and collars (to be engraved with yours and pets details)?
- Do you have indoor/outdoor bedding, food, bowls, grooming equipment etc?
- Do you have a vet in mind? Ask friends and get some recommendations. If your dog is not already neutered/spayed you will need to organise this pronto!
Once pup is be home and settled in you will be able to start building a bond and getting to know each other. If you have any medical or behavioural concerns you should always seek advice from your vet or a professional trainer as soon as possible. Use high quality food (I recommend home made) and exercise regularly. Dogs truly are mans best friend and you will be rewarded each and every day for years to come.
Find out more about Pawsville Pet Minding based in QLD by clicking here