9 things you should consider when buying a dog
You dream of sharing your life with a dog, but you don't know what to consider? Then you're like a lot of people, especially if it's your first dog of your own.
Here you will find 9 points that you should take to heart before you get a dog. If you answer them honestly for yourself and follow them, you will be well prepared for life with a dog.
1. housing situation
An important point to consider before buying a dog is your living situation. If you are renting, you must discuss with your landlord whether he allows dogs.
Also keep in mind that moving with a dog is often more difficult. Many landlords do not allow four-legged friends in their properties.
Depending on the size of the pelt-nose, you should also adjust your square footage. If you want to have a large dog, you need a correspondingly large apartment.
What neighborhood do you live in? A nice neighborhood with meadows and lots of nature is more inviting for walking than an inner city location with lots of concrete and streets.
Do other pets already live in your apartment, such as cats? Then they should get along well with the dog and vice versa.
2. own health
A dog needs a lot of exercise and you need to walk him several times a day. Are you fit enough to give your four-legged friend the necessary exercise? This is an important factor that you should take into account when making your decision.
Another health issue is allergies. Therefore, test in advance whether you and your family members can live together with a four-legged friend. It would be tragic if your pet had to leave the family again.
You can find more on the topic of health in our large Health category.
3. financial situation
Keeping a furry nose costs money. First of all, there are the acquisition costs. If you get your dog in an animal shelter, you only pay a protection fee. This is usually between 150 euros and 300 euros. The prices at the breeder are usually much higher and range from 500 euros to 2,000 euros or more.
Then, of course, there is the initial equipment, such as food bowl, leash, dog basket and so on. However, the initial cost is small compared to the running costs. You should be prepared for these expenses:
Almost everywhere in Germany you have to pay a dog tax as a dog owner. This varies between 5 euros and 185 euros per year. Inform yourself in advance at the responsible public order office or at your city council.
Dog liability insurance
As a dog owner, you are liable without limitation for all damages caused by your animal. These can amount to several thousand euros or even millions. Therefore, you should not rely on a Dog liability insurance do without. Some federal states even oblige you to do so by law.
Whether once a year for preventive care or because of an emergency - in any case, you will make regular acquaintance with the vet. A visit to the practice is often expensive, so you should be financially prepared. Many dog owners take out surgery and health insurance to cover the costs.
Depending on the size of your pet and the type of food, you will have to spend different amounts on food. Basically, you should plan at least 50 euros for the monthly food requirement. So that your dog also gets the right food, read our Dog food test by.
Especially with a young dog you probably also visit the Dog school. The average price of a 10-ticket here is between 110 euros and 150 euros.
If you're going to be out of the house for 8 hours every day, you should look into doggy daycare. These cost up to 100 euros per day.
Are you able to bear these costs? Be honest with yourself and calculate your finances beforehand. In addition, you should always have enough reserves for medical emergencies or similar.
You can find out more about the financial situation in the article "How much does a dog“.
Do you have enough time to take care of your dog and do it justice? Several factors play a role here: What about your professional situation, for example? Do you work up to 8 hours a day away from home or in a home office? The latter is definitely the more dog-friendly option, as your dog will not be alone.
Furthermore, ask yourself the question: What do I like to do most in my free time? What hobbies do I pursue? How do I spend my everyday life? Can a four-legged friend accompany me in these activities? Or will it be problematic to reconcile work, leisure time and dog?
Think about whether you can imagine your life according to your furry nose. Also be aware that you will have to brave wind and weather and go for walks several times a day. You should always plan enough time for this in your daily routine.
5. vacation planning
Summer, sun, beach and sea - or rather the mountains? You're bound to go on vacation or travel for a longer period of time. Before you get a dog, you must consider whether he can come with you. An alternative offers you, for example, a "dog hotel".
Of course, you can also take your pet with you on vacation. But check beforehand whether your accommodation allows pets. In some vacation countries there are also certain regulations for taking an animal with you. Of course, a vacation in nature with lots of exercise is ideal. More on the topic Vacation with dog you can find here.
6. long-term decision
Are you ready to commit to a dog not just for a few months, but for years? To shape your life and your free time accordingly? You should ask yourself these questions seriously, because at best the four-legged friend will accompany you for several years.
You should have a basic willingness to commit to the animal for several years. Even if the dog is eventually old and no longer so fit, you should decide for the good of the animal. A dog always loves you unconditionally, can you do the same?
7. which breed of dog suits me?
Like us humans, dogs also have different character traits. These often depend on the particular breed of dog. It is therefore important that you consider beforehand what kind of dog you want. If it is your first dog, for example, offers itself a Dog breed for beginners gets the spotlight.
If you have a family, it is important that your dog is fond of children and has a rather calm nature. In this case offer Family dogs for you. Some dog breeds are very hairy. You don't like constant vacuuming and dog hair everywhere? Fortunately there are Dogs that do not shed much.
The energy level also varies: Dog breeds such as the English Bulldog, for example, have a rather low energy level. Unlike the Australian Shepherd, which much energy has and accordingly requires a high level of exercise and activity. Active dogs are better suited to rural areas, where they have plenty of exercise and space to run around.
In some federal states, for example in North Rhine-Westphalia, you have to pass an examination for dogs. This applies to dogs weighing at least 20 kilograms and/or with a shoulder height of at least 40 cm.
This certificate of competence is also required for so-called "list dogs". These are defined by each federal state. Listed dogs are considered dangerous breeds, which is why you have to pass an examination beforehand to determine whether you are suitable for keeping such an animal. Bull terriers and pit bull terriers, for example, fall into this category.
8. puppy or adult dog?
A puppy is like a human baby. It needs a lot of attention, still has to learn all the commands, wants to play a lot and is not yet housebroken. If you get a puppy, you should bring even more time than for an adult dog.
It's best to take some time off to take good care of him. The little one has to go out every hour, even at night, because the bladder is not yet strong enough.
A great advantage with a puppy is the intense bond you build with him from an early age. He grows into your family from the beginning and you influence his behavior and upbringing.
With an adult dog, the character is usually already strongly developed and consolidated, which can have advantages and disadvantages. Education also plays a role here and you can resort to dog schools.
An adult dog is often already housebroken and can at best stay alone for a few hours. Nevertheless, even with an adult dog, you need to take enough time to get used to it.
In general, no matter whether you decide to get a puppy or an adult dog: Especially as a beginner you should deal with all relevant topics around dog keeping. This is the only way to meet the needs of your four-legged friend at any age. Dog training apps like hundeo accompany and support you on your way.
9. breeder or animal shelter?
If you get your four-legged family member from a breeder, it is usually a puppy. You can choose the breed that suits you and your lifestyle.
Choose your breeder conscientiously and find out in advance whether they place more emphasis on quality or quantity. Take enough time to discuss any concerns, questions and key data with the seller. Once you have decided on a breeder, you can usually make appointments to visit. This will allow you to meet the puppy and decide if it is a good match for you.
Do not let yourself be pushed in your decision making, serious breeders like to take a lot of time for the placement. If you feel pressured to buy, you should urgently distance yourself from the seller. Also make sure that you sign an official contract of sale. This is an important document, which identifies the dog and protects you from fraudsters.
There are more and more scammers and dubious sellers. Therefore, do not buy a puppy in a parking lot or in a backyard. In this case, it is usually illegal puppy trade.
Animal shelter respectively animal protection
Several thousand dogs in the world are looking for a home. Their families have abandoned them, they were born on the street or have suffered mistreatment. They are often mixed breeds and not purebred animals.
If you get a dog from the shelter or animal protection, you give the furry noses a second chance and make abandoned paws happy. But here, too, you should not rush your decision.
It is very important that you inform yourself well about the dog beforehand and, if possible, get to know him in advance. Because unfortunately, the four-legged friends have often experienced bad things and sometimes show behavioral problems. In animal shelters, for example, you have the option to visit the dog regularly for walks and see if you fit together.
Dogs from animal welfare often live in animal shelters abroad. Therefore, you often do not have the opportunity to get to know them beforehand. Therefore, inform yourself well about your potential protégé beforehand.
One helpful concept is foster families. These take in dogs from abroad and integrate them into their family until they are placed. Here you can visit the four-legged friend and get to know him better.
In this case, make sure that it is a reputable animal shelter or animal welfare organization and that you conclude an official purchase contract. You should also get papers like the vaccination certificate of your dog. Be sure to read our article Adopt a dog from a shelter? (This is what you should consider) by.
As you've probably figured out by now, buying a dog is not a decision you should rush. It is important that you take the above points to heart.
Think carefully about whether you can adequately care for the animal - even over several years. If you can still imagine keeping a four-legged friend after that, you are ready for the dog adventure.
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