How many dogs should a person have

Dog ownership: 15 questions before buying a dog

Again and again dogs are given or abandoned in the animal shelter. Unfortunately, in most cases there are not even valid reasons - rather people were overwhelmed or the oh-so-cute puppy was getting older. Buying a dog should therefore never be a spontaneous thing and a puppy certainly does not belong under the Christmas tree.

Instead, you should think carefully - together with the family - whether you are ready for a dog. And whether the framework conditions are right so that a dog can move in and feel good.

General conditions / general requirements before buying a dog

One of these general framework conditions is that keeping dogs must be permitted in accordance with your rental agreement. But it is also important where you live and what the environment is like. After all, a dog needs exercise: a five-minute walk in the big city is not enough. So check whether there are appropriate, species-appropriate exercise opportunities (green areas, parks, forests) available and accessible in your area.

Your general life situation also plays a role: For example, it does not contribute to the welfare of the animal if you are at work and the dog has to stay alone for many hours every day. Either you can take your four-legged friend with you to work or there is someone who would take care of the dog during this time - but no dog should have to eke out a lonely existence in the apartment or house for eight hours a day.

One of the general considerations before buying a dog is to check whether the financial means are sufficient for keeping a dog. It is true that you can take care of a dog with very little means - since there are now many charitable organizations - a dog does not only cost time, it also costs a lot of money. Vet, food, basic equipment (dog bed, bowl, collar, leash), dog tax - all this and a lot more must be paid for. So think not only about the purchase, but also about the maintenance costs if you want to take in a dog.

15 questions before buying a dog

You should go through the following questions calmly and answer honestly for yourself. In some cases, these go back to the general requirements. If you can answer many of the questions with "yes", nothing stands in the way of buying a dog.

Checklist: Basic Considerations Before Buying a Dog

1. Can I keep a dog in the apartment / house?

As already mentioned, this is one of the most essential questions when it comes to getting a dog. First of all, it is essential to clarify whether the landlord agrees to keep dogs. If, on the other hand, you live on the 15th floor of a cement block, in an apartment of perhaps 20 square meters, and have no park nearby - you should think twice about your four-legged friend.

2. Am I ready to take care of a dog extensively for the next 15 years or so?

Nobody knows what the future holds, but there should be a potential willingness to look after the animal for many years, even as it gets older.

3. Am I physically fit enough to do the dog justice?

Every dog ​​needs exercise and sometimes wants to play and run around. Walks in wind and weather are part of it - so your health should also play a role.

4. Do I have enough time for a dog?

Anyone who is constantly in the office, on business and vacation trips or with friends in clubs should probably better admit that they have no time for a dog. The four-legged friends should not have to stay alone for more than four to five hours a day.

5. Can I take the dog with me on vacation / place it somewhere?

If you like to travel a lot, you have to think about whether you are ready to go on holiday with your dog from now on - for example at the lake, where there are dog beaches. Or you should have an alternative on hand before buying a dog. It is best to talk to your relatives. In an emergency, animal boarding houses or pet sitters can still be found, but it is better if you can rely on the support of the family.

6. Do I have acquaintances, friends, family members who would take care of the dog?

Not only when it comes to vacation or work, you should have someone who is willing to take care of the dog from time to time. A trustworthy dog ​​sitter should also potentially be available for cases of illness, spontaneous errands in dog-free shops or for important appointments where the four-legged friend would have to stay at home.

7. Is it possible for me / our health to keep a dog like this? (Subject of allergies)

It becomes sad for everyone when you get used to each other and have learned to love each other and then the dog has to be given up for health reasons. Checks beforehand if it is not certain whether, for example, allergies stand in the way of keeping a dog. This of course applies to all members of the household.

8. Do I have experience with dogs or am I ready to find out more?

Some dogs are brought to / given away due to behavioral disorders or 'disobedience'. However, these problems can often be traced back to a wrong upbringing.

If you have little or no experience with dog ownership, it is important to get comprehensive information and read up on it. You should also seek professional help, for example in the form of a puppy or dog school. Attending a puppy school is also recommended for experienced owners, as the dog makes social contacts from an early age and comes together with other dogs.

9. Do I have enough financial means to cover the running costs?

With a dog, in addition to the (relatively low) purchase price, you also have to face running costs. Whether food, equipment, taxes, insurance, money for training and, if necessary, care, medication or expensive veterinary visits: you should expect 100 to 200 euros per month.

10. Am I ready to adapt my leisure activities to the dog?

A four-legged friend can not only cause difficulties in terms of work - the leisure activities also have to be adapted to some extent. After all, a dog doesn't just want to be kept busy from Monday to Friday or from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In addition to the time aspect, a dog can also have other restrictions: For example, if you have allergy sufferers among friends or acquaintances or if someone is afraid of dogs, future meetings could be difficult. And a shopping spree in the city? It is certainly possible to take the dog with you, but large crowds can lead to stress in the animal and you cannot take your four-legged friend into all shops.

Tip: Make a list of all your hobbies and leisure activities that you enjoy doing. Then think about which of them are fully compatible with a dog (e.g. hiking) and which, on the other hand, would be difficult / restricted / no longer feasible in the future.

11. Can I live with a dog making mess / mess?

Dogs roll around in the mud, carry leaves with them, sometimes nibble on furniture or clothing, maybe throw their bowl over, drool, shed their hair and sometimes empty themselves on the carpet. So it takes a certain amount of extra effort to keep the premises clean if you live with a dog. You should be aware of this beforehand.

12. When buying a puppy: Can I look after the puppy around the clock?

A puppy cannot and should not be taken for hours for a walk - it has to go out more often to do this. Sometimes at night too. He has to get used to it, has to be house-trained, has to learn basic commands and develop a connection to you / the family. All of this takes up a lot of time - the acquisition and upbringing / care of a puppy can easily be described as a full-time job. For this you should be able to take vacation if you are working. Because a puppy usually has no business in an office - especially not if it is not your office.

13. Will my family / friends support me in buying a dog?

Just because a distant acquaintance doesn't like dogs, of course, shouldn't be dissuaded from getting a four-legged friend. However, you should talk to as many parties as possible about your project. In this way you not only find out who would be willing to take care of the dog - maybe something is noted that you have not yet thought of. In addition, a dog does enough work in itself, even without having to defend itself with elbows against the family or a crisis breaking out.

14. Am I patient, loving, empathetic and still strong enough for a dog?

A dog is an independent living being that will not always do exactly what you want him / her to do. Sometimes the dog barks, sometimes he can't get enough of playing, sometimes he steals groceries or rummages through the garbage: Such things can annoy you, but still you shouldn't lose your nerve. Aggression has no place in dog training - it is more about patience and empathy. Nevertheless, you have to be tough enough to be able to resist the begging dog eyes, for example.

15. Am I ready to accompany the dog in good times and bad?

Dogs feel it when their master and mistress have grief or pain, are sad or happy. They are there for their people and are loyal to them - in good and bad days. The question is: can you do that too?

Are you ready to give him back this love, to comfort him, to hold him and to care for him in case of illness or in old age? And would you always be willing to make decisions about the welfare of your animal, even if the decision hurts? In short: Could you love a dog unconditionally - as a living being, not as an object! - and would you do everything in your power to make him well? Because that is exactly what a dog normally does for his loved one.

Final considerations

If you - after answering the questions and considering carefully - have come to the decision that you want to take in a dog, you should still consider the breed-specific traits and requirements. This does not only apply in the event that you get a pedigree dog - mixed breeds also have different needs (mostly these are similar to the breeds from which they are descended). Our breed portraits or the article “Which dog suits me?” Can help you with this.

And when you have found the right dog and a serious offer, all you have to do is get to know and love the new family member! Anyone who takes the time to carefully and conscientiously rethink buying a dog will surely experience wonderful years with their new companion - and the dog will hopefully have a beautiful, animal shelter-free life.