Are you dog ready?

Dog ownership is a wonderful thing, but it is also a huge responsibility. A dog is for life, and we’re here to help you along your journey to dog ownership and beyond.

Take a look at our advice on getting dog ready, what do if you’ve just brought a pooch home, and how to help them become well trained and prepared for the world.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, it’s important to consider every part of dog ownership – the waggy tails, sofa snuggles and challenges along the way. Consider what your daily and weekly life looks like. Will you be able to work from home to keep your pup company, or will you need to organise a dog walker or day care? From food to vet bills and insurance, to bedding, toys and treats – there are many costs to consider too.

Take our handy quiz to help you decide if you’re ready for some of the basics of dog ownership!

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Are you ready?

To change your schedule to suit them – and wave goodbye to lie-ins? Your new best friend will want to see you first thing in the morning!

To spend more time at home or to pay for a dog sitter or walker? Your pup can’t be on their own for more than four hours.

To brave all weathers for walkies? Come rain or shine, your pooch will need to go for a walk.

To devote time to training, games and fun with your furry friend? Dogs need lots of mental stimulation and love to learn.

To spend money every month on food, treats, pet insurance and other doggy essentials?

To clean fur off your furniture? Some dogs malt more than others, so be aware of any allergies in the home.

To plan for the whole family? Whether it’s a night out, a holiday or weekend away, you need to make plans for your four-legged friend too.

To be chief pooper scooper? Don’t forget the poo-bags if you go out!

To learn the language of your dog so you can give them everything they need?

Congratulations, it sounds like you’re ready to become a dog parent! Here are some things to consider before you pick a pooch:

  • Bark to basics – whether you adopt an older dog, a younger dog or opt for a puppy, ensuring your dog has the training and mental stimulation they need to feel confident and happy. There are lots of valuable lessons that all dogs should learn – check out our top ten training tips. You can also take our four week Dog School course to teach your pooch the basics with our expert trainers. Find out more about responsible dog ownership.

  • Exercise – all dogs need physical and mental exercise and stimulation. Think about how much walking your pooch will need, and whether your lifestyle allows for it. Some dogs thrive on being able to run around and play, so might find this difficult in smaller spaces. Think about different ways you can provide enrichment for your pup.

  • Getting a dog – making the decision to get a dog is incredibly exciting! Whether you want to adopt a rescue dog or buy a puppy, being prepared is essential. Our website has lots of guidance and advice to help you be as clued-up as possible, from rehoming and adoption to buying a puppy safely and responsibly.

It sounds like you might not be quite ready to welcome a furry friend into your family at the moment. Being a responsible dog parent is a big commitment! If you’ve got your heart set on a dog, have a think about what changes you could make to your life, do lots of research and speak to other dog owners you know. We’ve got lots more advice on our website, and we’ll be here to help you adopt when you’re ready! In the meantime, how about the next best thing? Sponsoring one of our dogs!

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Want more advice?

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As the pandemic continues, many dog owners will be faced with the heartbreaking decision to give up their dog.

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More info & advice

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Preventing separation anxiety

Prepare your dog for post-lockdown life with our advice for preventing separation anxiety

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Puppy advice

Worried about raising a puppy during a pandemic? Read our advice

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Rehome a dog

If you’re ready, take a look at dogs available for rehoming!