1st Comprehension to Time




There is a famous slogan “A dog is for life, not just Christmas” coined by the Dogs` Trust over 38 years ago.

Many people love dogs and they are a welcome to addition to any family. However, a dog needs to be thoroughly cared for and must not be viewed as a toy. When considering whether you should have a dog, you need to acknowledge the responsibility of owning a dog, both day-to-day and for the long term.

Dogs are welcomed into families. However, sometimes dogs need to be re-homed as a result of the owner’s change of circumstances, such as a change in employment, divorce, illness or other life-changing experiences. This is a sad time for all involved. There are numerous charities which undertake the difficult task of re-homing animals. There are both nationwide charities and local charities, all doing incredible work and aiming to bring about a happy ending for dogs which have been unloved or simply are unable to be cared for by their owners.

Some events in life cannot be planned for and so it is inevitable; however, here are some questions that you need to ask before you choose to buy a dog:

Question 1- Can you afford it?

Even if you can afford to buy a dog, can you afford to maintain its health by providing it with the food and annual check-ups and vaccinations it requires?

There is also the question of what happens if your pet becomes ill. Even a seemingly healthy dog, can become ill because of something it eats or drinks, or because of an accident in the home or in the park.

As a responsible dog owner, can you afford it if your pet were to require urgent medical attention? Vet`s bills can be hundreds and even thousands of pounds, depending on the illness and if you have not taken out a lifetime insurance policy for your dog, either you will have to pay for this or you will lose your family member, as your dog may have to be put to sleep (another way of saying this is “put down”). If you have pet insurance, this is likely to cost at least £200 per annum (in a one-off payment or monthly payments) and this varies on the level of cover.

Every year, a dog should have a check-up with the vet and have its booster. This is an injection to provide protection again Leptospirosis. There are also other vaccinations that a dog should have at three-yearly intervals and others which can be administered depending on your dog’s activities.

These are all costs that must be taken into account before you have a dog.

Question 2- Will the dog be left alone for long periods?

Dogs are social animals and are loyal to their masters. It is unfair to leave a dog alone for long periods of time while you are at work. Dogs need exercise and love, and if you are unable to be with your dog for long periods of time during the day, you need to make provision for your dog to be exercised.

There are many services which will assist in providing either company for your dog, where local people are matched with dogs that are left alone as their owner is at work. The service puts owner and the local person in contact. The local person will offer to walk the dog or have the dog at their home while the owner is out at work. This is a mutually beneficial relationship as the dog is looked after and the chosen person can have some time with a dog, without the commitment that comes with owning a dog.

If you are unable to find someone in this position, then there are many businesses which will walk your dog. The costs vary, but it could cost from £10 to £20 per day.

Question 3- Is your chosen breed of dog suitable for you?

You may like the larger of the dog breeds such as Irish Wolfhounds  (or Greyhounds) but are you prepared to walk your dog on a daily basis for at least 30 minutes, and in all weathers? Most of us would like to say “yes”, but serious consideration needs to take place before you decide upon the breed to ensure a good fit.

There are many mid-size breeds which are very handsome dogs and which you may assume will not be hard work. This may not be the case.

Once you have considered the impact a dog could have on your family, and whether you can give it the love and attention it needs, then it is time for you to start looking. At good place to start would be a Rescue Centre.

We hope that you find a dog to cherish. Dogs are hard work, but also bring great joy and companionship to individuals and families around the world; and have done so for millennia.

So please consider your decision carefully. Can you look after a dog for its lifetime and keep it safe, healthy and happy?

© Skyward Kids Life Skills 2021