Adding a dog to your family is a wonderful experience. Dogs are incredible companions that offer unconditional love (they’re called man’s best friend for a reason!) and offer their owners a host of other benefits. They are a big responsibility though, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before you decide to welcome a dog into your home, make sure you have considered all the aspects of including one in your family to make sure you’re ready for the commitment needed.
Find a dog that’s right for you
There are a lot of different breeds of dogs, all of which are ready to bring joy into the lives of others, so make sure you find the right breed for you. A large dog, for example, would not be suited to a small apartment with no outdoor space, and a naturally energetic dog may require too much attention for families with small children. Likewise some rescue dogs may have previously been maltreated, have issues such as anxiety or suffer from medical problems, and as a result need an owner who can give them specifically what they need. Do some research beforehand and get to know the personality and history of any dog you’re considering before making a commitment so that you know you’re compatible.
Offer lots of love
Of course you love dogs and of course they will love you back, but always remember that dogs are an emotional commitment, requiring constant attention and care. Like a small child, you will need to change aspects of your home and your life to accommodate their needs.
Be prepared for the financial responsibilities
Dogs are not just an emotional commitment, they require a financial one, as well. They will be entirely dependent on you to provide healthy food and treats, exercise, regular (and emergency) vet visits, micro-chipping, grooming (including bathing, hair cuts, regular teeth brushing and nail trimming), bedding, toys, and more, all of which come with a financial responsibility you need to be prepared to take on before committing to being a dog owner.
Don’t underestimate the time commitment involved
Your relationship with your dog will rely heavily on your commitment to them. You will need to set aside plenty of time to look after their emotional wellbeing, including giving them regular exercise (important for a dog’s physical health, but also equally important to a dog’s mental health), provide stimulation through toys and playtime, socialization with other dogs, supervision, and training. Remember, too, that a dog’s life is shorter than a human’s, so once you have a fur baby in your life, you need to be prepared to love it and care for it for its entire life.
Don’t buy a dog – adopt one
In Southern Spain there are an abundance of stray dogs that have been rescued by local animal shelters and are looking for good homes. And contrary to some beliefs, shelter dogs don’t require anything more than pet store pups, except perhaps a bit more love –but if you’re adding a dog into your life, you already have plenty of that to offer! Here on the Costa del Sol, you can always find some amazing canine companions at Adana, Triple A, and Last Chance Rescue. The volunteers and staff at all of these rescue centres are always on hand to help you find your perfect pooch and offer advice about how to give your new dog the best possible life.
Paws Doggy Day Care is here to help
As dog lovers with decades of experience living and working with dogs of all ages, breeds, and temperaments, the staff at Paws Doggy Daycare in Estepona are here to help, too. If you’re away to work, have an occasional commitment elsewhere, are going on holiday, or are simply looking for a fun place for your dog to visit, socialize, and get some extra exercise a few days a week, our doggy daycare services are second to none. We offer a 3500m fully-fenced orchard, hard surface play area and full-sized doggy swimming pool and paddling pools, all supervised and designed with dogs in mind! Let your new furry friend run, play, and swim to their hearts content with their doggy friends, with plenty of shaded areas, dog beds and even an indoor doggy hotel for rest after. Lots of walks through the campo and to the local river too, and we can even offer on site training, grooming, and pick up and drop off services to make your life even easier. Doggy day care and overnight dog boarding are both available for all dogs, after they’ve gone through our interview process, so you know your new companion will get the absolute best treatment, just like they would at home.
If you would like any advice before adopting a dog please do get in touch. We are lucky to have had years of experience with all types of dogs, including rescue dogs, mixed breed dogs and pure breed dogs, so we are perfectly equipped to help you find the dog that’s right for you.