With many of us working from home during the lockdown and less able to socialize as we normally would, the idea of getting a canine companion is becoming ever more attractive. What could be nicer than having a furry friend to go on walks with and keep us company while we watch the latest episode of Bridgerton?
Before making this decision, it’s really important that you consider how your life is likely to look post-pandemic. In England, the RSPCA has reported thousands of extra dogs needing to be rehomed due to people impulse buying them during the first lockdown. If you decide to add a furry companion to your family, it’s important to be sure that you will have room for them in your life for the next 10 – 15 years, not just for the duration of the pandemic.
Will you be returning to the office?
If you normally work away from home, it is possible to have a dog, but it requires some thought and planning. Dogs shouldn’t be left alone for any longer than four hours. If they are left for longer than this, they will become miserable and sometimes destructive.
Some options for keeping your pooch happy if you’re working away from home are:
- If you work close to home, you could pop home during your lunch break to say hello and let them out to go to the toilet.
- If you have willing friends or neighbors, you could ask them to pop in and say hi to your canine pal during the day.
- If neither of these things is possible, then doggy daycare is a great option. Just bear in mind that it can be pricey and that your dog must be well trained before most providers take them on.
What kind of vacations do you enjoy?
If the type of vacations that you enjoy are dog friendly, then taking a dog along with you can really make your trip away even more special.
For example, if you enjoy vacations with a lot of walking, running, or trekking up mountains, then taking a dog with you could be perfect, breed dependent, of course. According to this blog content by Diamond Pet on tree walker coonhound, coonhounds are wonderful companions for people who enjoy adventurous and energetic vacations because they are so high energy. A tiny dog like a chihuahua might not enjoy this type of break quite so much!
It’s also worth remembering that it can be difficult to take dogs abroad, so if you like to visit other countries, you probably won’t be able to take your dog with you.
If the holidays you enjoy don’t really dog-friendly, then you will be looking at kennel bills each time you go away unless you have a friend or family member who is willing to dog sit.
Are you willing to walk outside in all weathers?
Dogs need to be walked between 30 minutes and 2 hours each day in order to keep them happy and healthy. If you don’t walk them, they are likely to become unhappy and destructive, which is no fun for anyone.
Can you afford it?
Finally, the cost. It’s estimated that owning a dog can cost $42,000 over the course of its lifetime! Be sure to budget carefully and make sure you can afford food, vets bills, grooming, doggy daycare, and things like leads and beds.