Thinking about getting a dog? We know it's hard to know where to start. So, before you jump in, here's a list of questions to consider to help you get started.
Do you have time for a dog?
Family life with young children is hectic. We know this first hand! Children need plenty of love, attention and energy... and dogs are no different. Ask yourself honesty if you're ready to dedicate as much time and effort into your dog as you do for the rest of your family.
Do you have space for a dog?
It won't come as surprise to hear that dogs need outdoor space but they need indoor space too. Particularly in a family home with young children, dogs need to be able to remove themselves from temper tantrums, noisy toys and adoring children to prevent them from becoming stressed or reactive. As a parent, I'm sure you can relate to that!
Which breed is right for you?
This is a particularly difficult question to answer, especially if you're choosing your first dog. But it's also a very important question. Finding a dog who matches your family both physically and mentally is the difference between success and failure. In addition to this, look for dogs who are good around children. Borrow My Doggy lists the top five child-friendly dogs (obviously, Boxers are in the top five - well done Zara DogDog!).
Adopt or shop?
Thousands of dogs are rehomed each year, meaning that they move into temporary homes or dog shelters. This can be very upsetting for dogs. With so many dogs waiting for new homes, think about whether you could welcome a dog who is in need of a loving family, or if a puppy is needed. Many dog rescue homes also get puppies so if you do want a puppy, it's worth signing up to their list in case they have one that is the right fit.
There are many other things to consider but asking these questions should help you decide whether now really is the right time to get a dog.
When we met Zara...
Our home was Zara's second home. She had been bought as an eight-week old puppy by a couple who couldn't give her what she needed; they already had a boisterous dog who didn't like sharing his home with a puppy. So, luckily for us, after four weeks they decided to rehome her. We had already met a few different breeds of puppy and so were fairly certain we knew what we were looking for. But when we finally met her, it was love at first sight and we've never looked back!