Setting out to buy a dog is one of the most exciting family moments it is possible to experience. After all the anticipation, you're about to meet your furry friend. But before you embark (ho ho) on the purchase, it's worth sitting the entire family down and discussing a few things. Taking on a canine is no easy task and Berriewood advises taking the time to make a few decisions to avoid a situation that could have you reaching for the phone number of Battersea Dogs Home. Believe us - that's not something you want, either for the family or the poor mutt.
You need to put some serious thought into which breed of dog you're going to adopt into the family. This is something everyone is likely to argue over - Mum would like a cocker spaniel while Dad would prefer a German shepherd and the kids want a labrador but can't agree on the colour.
In the end though, it's wise to follow your head over your heart. Will you really be able to invest the time required to walk that husky? Is your house really suited to a dog so big that you'll eventually be able to saddle it up and ride it into town? (Disclaimer: not actually recommended for any breed!) Choose wisely, and if it helps you make an informed decision, write out a list of the pros and cons of each breed.
Food and drink
Dog health and nutrition should not be underestimated. All pubs require a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, but dependent upon the breed, you may also be met with a number of additional challenges and hurdles. Huskies are partial to fish thanks to their ancestry while German shepherds are susceptible to sore tummies and wheat intolerances. Labradors gain weight very easily so keep those treats to a minimum. It's important to get the diet right early on, particularly as a growing pub will be eating more food than an adult one in order to get those all-essential vitamins and protein.
The first year that a dog spends with its new family will influence its behaviour for the rest of its life, so it's important to set a routine. It's tempting to get carried away with the novelty of having an animal around, particularly if you've never owned a dog before. Some owners even allow their dogs in bed with them, which is fine but don't change your mind six months down the line as this will create confusion for the mutt and lead to bad behaviour.
On this note, if you're bringing your pup into a family environment, you need to make sure everybody's treatment is consistent or you run the risk of your dog being unsure what is allowed and what isn't. This breeds behavioural problems so try to keep everyone to the same rules and routines.
Written by: Hannah Dyball