It is an important decision. A dog could be with you for the next fifteen years or more. There are so many considerations: a puppy, an older dog, a pedigree, a crossbreed and which sex? It can feel daunting, but there is help available – you are not alone.
Not all dogs have the same requirements, yet they will all demand your commitment as a responsible dog owner.
Do you have a preference for walks around the block, or would you enjoy a dog that can climb those Scottish Munros? Will he or she be alone at home? If so, what is the cost of the nearest doggy day care? Remember that a working type dog will quickly become “self-employed” if not kept entertained.
How much will he or she eat and is this affordable? Then there is the cost of vaccination, parasite control and health care. Good sites are accessible on the Internet. The Kennel Club have lovely descriptions regarding the character, feeding and exercise requirements of pedigree breeds. Rescue centres such as the Blue Cross help in the selection of a dog that needs rehoming including some of the pitfalls.
Your vet is an excellent place to start and staff are always ready to help with your questions.
Dr Mandy Elgin,