Thinking of getting a dog: tips

A number of people have written to me in the last few weeks, asking me about my lovely lass, Willow. It inspired me to write a blog post on canines. The do’s the don’ts, and the important things to know before getting a dog.

Willow

After the death of our third Rough Collie, we were eager to get another pup. We were ever so familiar with the Rough Collie breed, that getting another wouldn’t be anything new. My Mom wanted a small dog, whereas my Dad didn’t want to venture into purchasing a breed we knew nothing about. After seeing the ad online for Willow, Mom fell in love instantly. We actually named her before we even contacted the breeder. She was born and bred in Co. Kerry. It didn’t take much debating to convince her breeder to give Willow a home, with us. Willow isn’t your typical sable Rough Collie. She’s actually a Blue Merle. She has grey and blue like features, speckled all over her body. One of her eyes features a hint of blue. She’s rather unique. Her temperament is exceptional. Willow was fully house trained at just 10 weeks old. Rough Collies are extremely intelligent and hold beautifully tame personalities. We were very lucky we swiped Willow when we found her online, she’s one of a kind!

Willow, aged 2

Where are you planning on getting your dog?

There are various agents you can go through when making a purchase or adoption for a dog in Ireland. Plenty of people choose to go via the pound or Madra, which are two massive agencies that help dogs of all ages find a home. We made the decision to purchase a puppy, fully microchipped and wormed, at just 8 weeks old. One of the largest agencies that advertises puppies in this manner is the Irish Kennel Club. The beauty of this agency is the expertise involved to manage the buying and selling of puppies that are fully bred. Generally, if an owner decides to breed their pooch, they will go through The Irish Kennel Club to find the right dog to mate with theirs, for safe production of healthy puppies. At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Adoption is a wonderful thing, and shows adoration for animals of all kinds. I hope I one day can afford to adopt a dog in need of a good home. Meanwhile, I’ve got Willow to think of!

What to think about before purchasing a dog

Dogs are a lot of work. Before making the decision to purchase or adopt a dog, think about some major factors.

Do I have the space for a dog?

Am I at home often?

Can I afford to maintain a dog?

Will I love this dog like family?

Dogs are a lot of work. They need maintenance, care, feeding, walks and most of all, a lot of TLC. If you’re someone who knows instantly that you won’t be able to provide these things, perhaps now isn’t the right time.

If you’re someone that works a lot and can’t imagine you’ll be home a lot to take care of your dog, I’d highly advise against getting one. Dogs need to be let out for toilet breaks, need fresh water, and to be brutally honest, it’s only good nature getting a dog if you know you can give he/she valuable attention. Dogs are quite like humans. Especially when you adapt closely to them. They may not be able to give back cheek, but they’re utterly intelligence. Negligence of a canine will only cause problems with you as an owner, too. An unhappy dog will react in an unhappy manner with their owner. If you show consistent love for your dog, you’ll see admirable results.

Expenses when purchasing a dog

Dogs are not only a lot of work, but are quite costly. They resemble a new born baby who constantly needs feeding, attention and care. On average, most dogs at a medium size only need feeding once a day. If you’ve already got a dog and are worried about portion sizes, ask your local vet to ensure you’re not over feeding your dog. Speaking of vets, chances are, you’ll be on first name basis’ with your local vet after the first 2/3 visits with your dog. Puppies need worming and microchipping at a young age. As they develop, it’s important to maintain their coat and teeth. Dogs are prone to picking up fleas and tics when playing outside. I advise giving your dog a good pet and feeling for tics, whilst keeping an eye on their hygiene, if they’re scratching a lot or acting different. Dogs can be very expensive if they become unwell or are forced to have an operation. Doggy VHI isn’t a thing yet I’m afraid, haha.

Most important thing when getting a dog?

Be certain that you’ll love them. Dogs aren’t robotic creatures at the end of the day. They’re extremely loving when given the best life possible, and they love their owners more than you realize. I grew up with dogs, so my love for them has been continuously unconditional. For new time owners, know for certain that dogs are for you. Be sure that you will treat he/she with respect and care for them like a child. At the end of the day, all a dog wants is someone to love them. Someone to wag their tail at and get excited to see!

I hope my tips were of any help at all. I just thought it was important to know the various tips before making such an indulgent purchase. Willow is as I call her “my child”. I bought her a separate bed for my bedroom.. she has a perfectly large bed in our kitchen. But I’m needy and lonesome, and she’s my best pal. How she puts up with me, god only knows.. lol

Tiggy x

Links:

Irish Kennel Club

MADRA

ISPCA

Adopt A Pet

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