Many young people dream of getting a puppy. All they see is a cute bundle of fluff, and they often don’t realise how much of a responsibility owning a dog is. Bringing up a puppy isn’t easy, it’s hard work.
The problem is, anyone can get their hands on a dog if they want to. Unfortunately a lot of dogs get returned to rescue centres, or worse, neglected and badly treated. Getting a dog is a huge commitment, some dogs can live up to 20 years.
It’s important not to get a dog until you are ready. There are lots of issues you have to deal with and things you have to do that require some maturity. Here are 10 reasons why you need to be mature enough to own a dog.
- You have to be organised
You need to make sure they get their vaccinations, flea treatment and worming tablets on time. If you are going away you need to have someone booked in to look after your dog. You also need to organise when your dog will be walked every day. You have to be organised if you want to look after your dog properly.
- You have to make adult decisions
If your dog becomes unwell, you might have to make some serious decisions. These sort of decisions are difficult for most adults to deal with. For example, you may have to decide about what treatment to give your dog and this takes maturity.
- You have to understand canine behaviour
It’s irresponsible to be around a dog if you know very little about how dogs behave. You need to have a basic understanding of canine behaviour in order to be safe and know how to act around your dog.
- You have to be responsible
You can’t just leave your dog at home all day while you are out and about, or forget to feed them occasionally. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and you need to be able to step up.
- You have to be able to afford a dog
Dogs aren’t cheap. Before getting a dog you should seriously consider whether you can afford it. On top of vet bills you will have to pay for food, vaccinations, toys, grooming, training and daycare if you can’t always be around.
- You need to be able to provide a suitable home for them
Dogs need to live in a big enough home with an enclosed garden to keep them safe. If you can’t provide them with this then it’s not fair on your dog.
- You need to make sure your dog is trained properly
Your dog needs to receive adequate basic training, whether you train them or take them to a professional.
- You are liable if your dog causes trouble
If your dog is aggressive towards people or other dogs you are liable for their actions. If they escape and cause an accident, you will be held responsible.
- You need to understand their needs
Some owners may not be mature enough to fully understand their dog’s basic needs and requirements.
- You need to know when they need medical attention
Dog owners need to be able to determine when their dog needs to be taken to the vet. If you delay treatment you could cause unnecessary suffering.