Are you thinking of adopting a dog? Good! With so many animals in shelters, it makes no sense to buy a dog from a breeder when you can give one a forever home, and free up space in the shelter for another deserving animal.
But there are questions you should ask yourself before you adopt…
Can I afford this? A responsible dog owner needs to take their dog to the vet’s regularly for check-ups. The best way to cover these is to sign up with a plan from your vet’s or take out insurance. Remember too, that food bills, bedding, toys and accessories all add up.
Do I have the time to devote to a dog? Can you walk your dog twice a day, every day – rain or shine? Are you prepared to invest the time needed for training, and playing with your dog? Are you happy to groom him regularly? What about when you are at work? Will this mean a dog would be left home alone a lot?
Do I have space for a dog? Different breeds require different spaces, but obviously, a large breed dog won’t fit into a small flat. How big is your garden? And is it secure?
Am I prepared to neuter or spay the dog? Again, a responsible owner will neuter or spaytheir dog to ensure unwanted puppies aren’t the result.
Can I bear what the dog will do to my house? If you are very house proud, a dog will come as a shock to the system. Even the best-trained pup is going to make a mess. There might be little accidents if your dog is not yet house trained. Mud will be inevitable as they traipse it in from outdoors, and then there’s the shedding hair…
Be honest with your answers… If you can’t afford it, or you don’t have the time, and the mess is something you can’t bear the thought of, dog ownership might not be for you. There are alternatives, though, if you love animals. Ask your local shelter if they need volunteers or foster carers for temporary homes, or sponsor one of their long-term residents.
Here are a list of some fantastic local rescues. Give them a call, meet the staff and together you’ll find the right option for you.
- Kit Wilson Trust, Hadlow Down
- Last Chance Animal Rescue, Edenbridge
- Allsorts Dog Rescue, West Sussex
- Raystead Centre for Animal Welfare, Ringmer
- RSPCA, Patcham
- Holbrook Animal Rescue, Horsham
For more information on the ‘Pet Parcel Project’ please visit: www.donnidoo.org.uk/pet-parcel-project