BECOMING A DOG OWNER
Becoming a dog owner carries responsibilities so before you get a dog make sure you discuss this with the people you live with and consider the following....
Check your rental agreement to make sure you are actually allowed to have a dog on the property. Some contracts stipulate ‘no pets’.
Breed Specific Legislation is becoming more common and it’s not just for Pit Bulls. Other breeds have now been identified as unsuitable in New Zealand and cannot be imported into the country. These are:
-American Pit Bull Terrier;
Note that Councils have the power to declare a dog ‘menacing’ or ‘dangerous’
If you have other pets, they are likely to be affected by your puppy. Consider how you will introduce your puppy to these pets and how you will protect them from the boisterous new addition to the family! Avoid dog breeds that are hunters as they may not always know the difference between prey and a cat or rabbit.
Check that you , or anyone else living in your household , are not allergic to dogs. There are some breeds of dog that are thought to lessen allergies. These are:
Consider how much available time you have to care for a dog. Even small and low maintenance dogs like Greyhounds will need some time and attention from you. It’s not just the time it takes to walk a dog, there are other things to consider such as...
-cleaning up after your puppy,
-training and general playtime.
In return for the time and energy that you put into caring for your dog you will receive in return unconditional love, devotion and companionship.
Whatever breed of dog you choose, there are some basic things that you will need to consider buying....
-Routine vet checks
-Food, Bedding and Accessories – Shop on line with Just Dogs and save!
Professional grooming services are often less time consuming but more costly. Some dog groomers will deliver this service at your home. If you prefer to groom your dog yourself you will need to consider the cost of shampoo; brushes; flea treatments and nail clippers. Shop on line with Just Dogs and save!
Boarding kennels – see our list of preferred providers
Dog walkers and Daycare
Dogs deserve playtime and attention. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time he or she may be prone to separation anxiety and depression. This may affect their behaviour, energy and appetite. If you are unable to get home during the day to walk your dog, it is really important that you give your dog a good walk in the morning and evening. If you are worried about leaving your dog alone during the day, consider enrolling in a dog daycare facility. See our list of preferred providers. Alternatively, you may consider paying a trusted neighbour or friend to walk your dog during the day.
There are many factors to consider in being a responsible dog owner, but the most important one is commitment. Although dogs don’t live as long as humans, you need to ask yourself if you can commit to caring for your dog for its life – which could mean an average of 10 to 15 years. You may find, for whatever reason, that you are unable to continue caring for your dog. Things happen, your situation may change. However, it is your responsibility to find your dog a good home. Thinking carefully about and preparing for dog ownership can ensure that you enjoy a long and happy life with your dog.
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