Owning a dog is a life-changing experience and can be enriching – only if you have properly considered whether a dog is right for you and your loved ones. SPCA Singapore receives about 400 abandoned pets and stray animals found on the street every month. Hence, it is very important that you consider the following points before you commit to bringing home a new furry friend.
Why Do You Really Want A Dog?
There are many reasons for wanting to get a pet. You need to evaluate the real reasons for wanting to bring a pet home. Some good and justifiable reasons are:
- COMPANIONSHIP You have made a commitment to welcome a pet into your life and have the time and resources to dedicate to building a strong, loving relationship with the pet.
- EXPAND SOCIAL CIRCLE Studies found that pet owners were more likely to make more friends than people who did not own a pet. This makes sense because pet owners, especially people who own dogs are more likely to bring their dogs out for walks, and are more likely to run into other dog owners on their walks.
- WILLING TO SAVE A LIFE Many animals at the pound don’t come out alive because they are either neglected or put to sleep for various reasons such as overcrowding or suffering from illnesses. If you are willing to save a life and adopt an animal from your local pound, go ahead to bring one home.
- PETS KEEP US HEALTHY There are proven physical and mental benefits when you live with a pet. Studies showed that children born into households with animals have a lower risk of developing asthma and allergies. Going out for daily walks with your furry friend also makes sure you get your daily exercise and burn the calories. If you are looking for a new friend to keep you healthy and encourage you to do more physical exercises, its hard not to bring an animal home to start a healthy life.
Are You Ready To Share Your Personal Space With An Animal?
Animals, especially dogs require a lot of time, patience and effort to care for it. Dogs are naturally social beings and they constantly crave for attention and socialisation.
You are your pet’s only source for food, exercise, grooming, veterinary treatments, training, and a safe, healthy environment to live in. You need to carefully evaluate if you are able to dedicate enough time each day to your dog’s needs. Some dogs are very hyperactive and need more time to exercise and go for walks. Having limited time doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t qualify to keep a pet; it just means that you need to find one that has lower exercise and grooming needs.
Whether you get a puppy or adult dog, you can expect some damage around the house. This applies to furnitures and personal items. You need to be mentally prepared for these changes the first few months when you bring the pet home. Proper training must be provided to the dog to ensure the pet can ease easily into a home environment.
Will You Be A Responsible Pet Owner?
Depending on whether you are getting a puppy or an adult dog, you need to make the commitment to look after it for about 15 years. When you commit to bringing a dog home, you have the responsibility to keep them safe for as long as they live.
As a responsible pet owner, you need to do the following:
- Go for regular walks with your dog
- Ensure that they get enough nutrition from the food they eat
- Sterilise your dog
- Microchip the dog
- Send the dog for obedience training
- Obey the law and ensure you leash the dog at all times
- Dog is well-protected against diseases such as heartworm, fleas, and ticks
- Observe hygiene by brushing its teeth, cleaning its ears and bathing it once a week
Is Your Family Willing To Accept A New Member?
Getting a dog home is not just about whether you can commit to looking after it for life. Most people forget that it affects other family members living together with you too.
Talk and discuss with your family members if they are willing to accept a new member to the family and if they are willing to share the responsibility to look after the new pet. Find out if they are willing to put effort into making the home safe and comfortable for everyone at home. It is a shared responsibility that all human members of the family must undertake.
Are You Financially Ready For A Pet?
Owning a pet can be expensive. We can expect healthy problems with aging pets, but some young dogs can end up spending more than they should due to several medical problems.
Veterinary bills are generally expensive. Dental scaling and polishing cost about $200, sterilisation is about $250, diagnostic imaging and surgical procedures can a whopping 4-figure sum!
Find out how much it will set you back by for basic health checks and emergency cases. Work out your budget to see if you are financially ready to get a pet.
Don’t get a pet on impulse or as a gift for your loved ones. These are never good reasons to bring a pet home.