So I get asked this a lot and I thought it would be easier to write a blog about it. Just to make one thing absolutely clear, my dogs are family and I love them to bits. They’re one of the best but definitely the hardest thing I’ve EVER done. Regardless of whether they’re big or small.
- REALLLLY think about it, dogs are for life and they’ll change everything. If you get a puppy or a dog of any age, they may be absolutely adorable but they need attention allll the time and if you’re not around to give them that fuss then don’t bother getting one.
- If you don’t like cleaning.. get a cleaner. My cleaner helped out massively and took away a lot of the stress. For example you will have constant pooing and weeing indoors and dog hair EVERYWHERE.
- This is where training is a must and be strict with your dog, if they do something wrong then you must tell them. They must know that you’re the boss and learn to respect you.
- Don’t automatically think of getting a puppy! There are sooo many beautiful, amazing dogs at rescue centres. Definitely check them out before going to breeders.
- Be prepared financially. Dogs cost a lot of money. I genuinely can’t believe how much my dogs eat and those massive bags of dog food add up. Also, don’t compromise on quality, I go for Arden Grange which is absolutely amazing. My dogs look so healthy and you can’t put a price on that. Also, if you’re thinking of going on holiday? Go on holiday first.. then get a dog. Kennel fees are expensive and you don’t want to be leaving your dog on it’s own for a while… i’m talking months and months. Also, make sure your house is big enough for dogs, small or big they take up a lot of room.
- Look at having dogs for the long term. This is a massive decision. Look at finances, relationships, everything.
- LOVE THEM. Dogs are family. Regular cuddles is a must. My dogs have turned out to be extremely affectionate towards other dogs and people. I don’t believe in people saying certain breeds are “bad” it’s all about how you treat your dog from the beginning. I find it extremely sad how certain breeds have such a bad name and people automatically assume they’re viscous. I also find this extremely offensive.. you wouldn’t label a child as “viscous” in front of it’s mother.. so don’t start doing it to dogs. Ever.
- Do you like walking? I hope so. I try to walk my dogs 3 times a day as they’re big dogs and need lots of exercise. If you don’t like walking then maybe go for a much smaller dog.
- Respect other dog owners and people. This came to quite a shock for me as I just assumed everyone would love my dogs.. that’s really not the case. Whatever dog you have people may like it. So before letting your dog off the lead, make sure it’s safe to do so and ask any surrounding people if it’s ok.
- Be aware of where the dogs are all the time and make sure you keep the dogs secure… they will escape if they can. Blue, my Rottweiler is fine but Sid the German Shepherd will escape whenever he can to see his friend Lewis next door. He likes to be sociable.
- Watch out for chewing. They will chew anything. So try where you can to remove things from reaching distance which could be destroyed. Also, don’t leave clothes, socks or shoes lying around. Ever.
- Toys, toys, toys. Get them toys.
- The whole dogs don’t like cats is such a myth. It really does just depend on how you introduce your dog to your cat when it’s a puppy. This may differ if you dog has come from a rescue centre as they may have had a bad past with cats. My dogs love my cat Harvey and they all sleep in the same bed…
- Introduce your dog to other dogs and new people gradually. Your dog may be timid and or like my dogs wayyyy toooo over powering which can scare people and dogs. \
- If you already have a dog and thinking of getting another.. get them both as puppies. Yes, this will create A LOT of hard work because you’re dealing with two wees and two poos on the floor but because my dogs have grown up together they’re genuinely like brother and sister. It’s absolutely adorable. Keep them in separate rooms for days and then gradually introduce them. If it’s difficult at first… it will get easier. If it doesn’t, you may need to seek a trainer and professional advice.
- Get a trainer. Just get one. It makes life so much easier and you’ll thank yourself for it as time goes on.
- Dogs are fun! You get to go on doggy holidays and accepted into the doggo walking club where you socialise with everyone who has a dog in your area. If you’re not sociable, avoid busy fields and peak doggo walking times.
- Don’t let people undermine you and your capability. If you’re young (like me) I have massively been undermined with my ability to look after a dog. Never mind two. Age is just number and if you’re committed and responsible it really doesn’t matter. There’s a huge difference between someone advising you and someone telling you.
So there we go! I’ve probably missed a load of things but these are the main 18. I can’t stress enough how much you need to think about everything before getting a dog. They’re a huge responsibility. Too many dogs end up in rescue centres from people giving up. I wouldn’t swap my dogs for anything and they genuinely change you’re life for the better. When you’ve had a rubbish day, they’re always happy 🙂
I’m definitely not a professional, I just have personal experience. So seek professional advice if needs be.
Also it’s so important so i’m saying it again. Check out your local rescue centre before going to breeders. There are so many dogs that need loving homes, it doesn’t have to be a puppy.
Lots of love