Dogs Trust Leeds: Top tips and everything you need to know and think about before getting a pooch

Maybe you love the idea of having a pooch or maybe your kids are trying to persuade you to get one? Whatever it is, here's everything you need to consider before taking the leap:

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 5:43 pm
Charlie is a four-year-old Akita at Dogs Trust in Leeds who is in need of a forever home

Dogs Trust has shared the top five things that you should think about before buying a pooch, including when is the right time to get a dog and how to purchase one responsibly.

Do your research

Having a dog in your life can be a very rewarding experience, however it is also a lifelong commitment, and it is important to make sure you understand how much care, attention and training your dog will need throughout its life, as well as whether you can afford the associated costs.

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Know when it’s the right time to get a dog

In 2020 there was a 62 per cent increase in the number of enquiries Dogs Trust received from people wanting to adopt a dog.

With families having been spending more time at home during lockdown, it is understandable that now might seem like a good time to get a pet.

However, with restrictions beginning to lift, Dogs Trust advises potential owners to think about post-lockdown life and whether they will be able to cope with the demands of having a dog.

Keep an open mind

Dogs Trust always encourages potential dog owners to keep an open mind about the type of dog they welcome into their home.

You may have a particular dog in mind; however, there might be factors such as your living environment, location and size of family that mean you could be better suited to a different size or breed of dog.

Purchase your dog responsibly

Dogs Trust would always advocate adopting a rescue dog, however there are people who prefer purchasing a dog from a breeder.

A significant rise in the online sale of dogs has meant it is all too easy to be scammed into buying a dog which may not be what it seems.

Dogs Trust call this Dogfishing, and in a bid to avoid falling into this trap, it urges potential owners to follow responsible purchasing advice:

- Always see puppy and mum together at their home and make sure to visit more than once, even if it is via video call due to coronavirus restrictions.

- Never pay a deposit up front without seeing the puppy in person.

- Ask lots of questions and make sure you see all vital paperwork, such as a puppy contract – which gives lots of information about their parents, breed, health, diet, the puppy’s experiences and more.

- If you have any doubts or feel pressured to buy, as hard as it may be, walk away and report the seller.

Know what support and advice is available

Dogs Trust can support dog owners when they need it most, in order to change the tale for dogs, whether this is giving advice to dog owners or helping them make the difficult decision to give their dog up for adoption.

Dogs Trust wants to keep dogs in happy homes for as long as possible but understand circumstances can change in a heartbeat.

If you are struggling to care for your dog, click here for more information.