Are you prepared for the responsibility?  Dogs take up a lot of time and energy, are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years dedicated to taking care of your furry friend?

Is your lifestyle suited to owning a dog?  Dogs get lonely just like humans, will they be left alone all day every day? Do you frequently travel? Do you have children, and if so are they old enough to handle the responsibility?

Are you patient?  Like it or not, even the most well-behaved pups get into mischief. They like to roll around in dirt, eat things you don’t want them to and do not always listen when you are training them.

Can you meet the dog’s physical and mental needs?  Are you prepared to go on daily walks, are you prepared to train them, socialise them and play with them?

Do you have the space?  Always take into account the size of the dog in relation to where you live. Research potential breeds to get an idea of the dog’s energy level – some breeds are okay lounging around the house

Can you afford the added expense?  Ongoing expenses such as food, veterinary fees (vaccinations, check-ups, and medication) and canine insurance can really add up.

What do you expect from your dog?  Are you looking for a companion or protection? Do you want your dog to join you on trips or leave your dog at a boarding facility when you go away?

Is anyone in the family allergic to dog hair?  Are you bothered by hair on EVERYTHING from your clothes to your food? Some people are allergic to pet dander or pet saliva.

What are some other options?  If you realise that you don’t have the time, money or room for a dog, don’t get your tail in a knot! Have you considered volunteering at an animal shelter?

Do you really LOVE dogs?  If you are motivated by your love of dogs and have thoroughly considered all the factors of pet ownership and are ready for a lifelong commitment then stay tuned for next week’s article,