First time owning a dog or looking to get that cute puppy in the window?
You might want to take some time to read this comprehensive guide that we have put together before you commit to owning a dog.
There are lots of factors to think about when you want to get a dog. In addition to this, there are some commitments other than just your time and effort. A dog can live for up to about 13 years. By getting the right diet, care, and veterinary attention, several dog breeds may even go beyond that and live a lot longer.
What we will be covering in this post:
- How to select a dog that is suitable for you and your family
- Actual costs of having a dog
- Getting your home ready for your new dog
- Things you should do once your dog has settled down
- Regular maintenance for your dog
How To Select A Dog That Is Suitable For You And Your Family
First of all, it is important for you to scrutinize your existing lifestyle as well as consider the adjustments you will be ready to make for your dog. Also, it’s crucial to consider the desires of your family, in particular when you have children and other pets. Those people who like better to have low-shedding dogs or those with allergies may want to consider having the hypoallergenic breed of dogs.
Some Key Factors To Think About When Picking A Breed
Level of Activity
Each dog needs to have routine exercise, not considering its breed and size. Therefore make certain that you are able to provide this for your dog. If you are not able to commit to over 1-2 casual walks for each day, then you are probably are better off getting yourself a dog with lower energy.
Tip: To help keep your high-energy dog engaged all through the day, there are several training schools that offer doggy daycare. The staffs are able to expand your active dog’s energy.
It is important for you to recognize that small dogs are vulnerable and delicate. Being mishandled or even getting stepped on can cause them very serious injuries while large dogs require a little more space for them to move around. The big, happy dogs with whip-like, long tails require “wagging space” to help avoid tail injury and even damage to your household objects.
Tip: It’s important for you to take the size of the dog into consideration together with the amount of space you have in your living area.
All dogs require basic grooming; however specific types of dogs require more depending on the kind of hair coat they have. Even then, there are several dog breeds that may need a lot more effort as far as grooming is concerned. This is due to their long or thick coats. When you choose to get a dog whose hair keeps growing all the time, then giving it advanced regular grooming is essential. The majority of the smooth-coated, short-haired dogs are often major shedders. For this reason, you need to be ready to do a few more extra cleaning up.
Tip: In Singapore, you can easily find expert dog grooming services and these come to you at the comfort of your house to help groom your dog.
All puppies need the most amounts of attention and training and in particular over their first year. Getting an adult dog may be a better option if you wish to get a good idea of their true energy levels, temperament, and attitude of the new dog. Picking a senior dog may make a great companion for someone who is looking for a dog with lower energy.
Tip: Although puppies may be the cutest, senior dogs may just be the lapdog you wish for when you are chilling in front of the TV after a busy day at work. Cleaning after spilled drinks and any accidental poop may not be as cute after all.
HDB Approved Breeds
For someone living in public housing, you may need to ensure that the breed you choose is permitted by HDB. According to the Housing and Development Board rules for Animal of 1989, HDB permits only a single dog of the approved small breed for each residential unit. Failing to abide by this legislation may result in you being fined an amount of about S$4,000 once convicted.
Whereas if you live in a private apartment building, do make certain that the building management permits dogs.
Tip: When you are renting your home instead, it may be a good idea to confirm with your landlord first on whether he permits pet ownership. Several landlords may frown upon pets and could ask for a home cleaning deposit from you.
Actual Costs Of Having A Dog
Two Ways Of Acquiring A Dog In Singapore: Commercial Purchase And Adoption
It is relatively inexpensive to adopt a dog from SPCA which stands at $180. For those dogs over 7.5 years cost $70, while the pedigrees, as well as their crosses below 7.5 years, cost $250. The grand thing when it comes to adopting is that the dogs come already dewormed, sterilized, microchipped, vaccinated, licensed and registered, hence you will save on nearly all of the upfront expenses.
However, when you are set on having a particular pure breed, be ready to spend at least $1000 and over at the pet shops, breeders, and farms. In addition, you will also have to spend more for microchipping, vaccinations, and the like.
Upfront Expenses Before Your Dog May Get Settled Into Your Home
- Deworming – $50
- Vaccination – $35 to $80
- Microchipping – $50 – $80
- Spraying/Neutering – $150 – $500
- Leash/Collar – $10 – $50
- Dog licensing – $70 when unsterilized, $14 for sterilized or below 5 months old*
- Month’s food supply – $40 – $200 this depends on the brand and If you prepare the food yourself
Recurring Expenses Of Having A Dog
- Food: $40 – $200 per month
- Vaccinations: $35 – $80 each 1to3 years
- Deworming – $50 as required
- Licensing- $14 to $70 for each year
Dog licenses are valid for a year only and have to be renewed before they expire. The renewal fees for sterilized dogs are S$14 and S$70 for the unsterilized dogs.
- Dog shampoo- $10 to $20 each few months
- Vet Visits + medication: $40 – $100 when your dog gets sick
- Grooming sessions: $20 to $110
Getting Your Home Ready For Your Dog
The initial week you get to spend together with your dog is exciting, certainly, however, it’s also probable to be unsettling. To help make the transition a lot easier for you both, here are some things that before the arrival of your dog:
- Organize an enclosed spot for your dog and ensure it is a well-aerated place with adequate lighting. Ensure that it is safely enclosed this way your dog won’t jump out or slip out of the spot. Make sure you give water, food, a comfy enclosure for him to nap in and remember to include suitable toys. You may consider laying out a lot of newspaper for when you are toilet training your dog. This is the initial spot your dog needs to be put in as soon as he is brought home.
- Dogs enjoy chewing plants and grass but lots of households and ornamental plants may be harmful to them. You may have to consider shifting the position of potted plants If you have many inside your home, before you bringing the new dog home.
- Preferably, you may need to consider taking some days to one week off from work to get your puppy or dog settled-in as well as start house training them. It will also help for the two of you to connect, which in itself may make the training much easier.
- You need to consider keeping all household chemicals such as bleach, insecticides, detergent, fertilizers and plant food away from your dogs reach. This also applies to medication. You need to be aware that dogs are by nature curious and may treat any cough mixture bottle like a chew toy. Ingesting such chemicals may cause your new dog to get gravely sick and might even cause death.
- Nuts, chocolate, onions, raisins, garlic, raw eggs, mushrooms, and different other common foods suitable for human are dangerous to all dogs. Therefore clear off all leftovers as soon as you are finished with your meals otherwise you may find yourself a frequent visitor at the vets.
Things You Should Do Once Your Dog Has Settled Down
Begin The Training
The sooner you start, the easier and faster it is to teach your dog good manners and also the better these lessons will stick.
Establish A Routine
Having a routine aids in-house training and can be reassuring to your doggie. Come up with a schedule for meals, walks, exercise and bathroom breaks, and attempt to follow them.
Locate A Vet
It’s particularly important for your puppy’s first visit to the vet to be an enjoyable experience. This way, your dog will enjoy taking trips to the vet. Inquire around for referrals, and then schedule your first vet appointment. Your new dog will require a check-up and maybe some vaccinations.
Pick A Regular Groomer
Look around for an excellent groomer, one that your dog is calm with. The environment, the mannerism, and the costs are important points that you need to take into considerations. A number of grooming companies offer right-at-your-doorstep services thus your pet won’t have to travel to strange environs for grooming.
Regular Maintenance For Your Dog
Grooming for your dog is an essential part of owning a dog since it is among your dog’s fundamental needs. Grooming for your dog is concerning maintaining both the dog’s physical health and her appearance. In order to do this, you have to begin with training your dog to tolerate grooming starting when she is still a pup. When you choose to wait too long before beginning the grooming sessions, your pup may not be as agreeable to the experience later on, and especially when it concerns nail clipping and ear cleaning.
The majority dogs will do fine by having a bath once each month. When you prefer to bathe your dog more often, that is ok as well. Make sure that you are using a soap-free shampoo that is intended particularly for dogs.
You may follow these easy steps to bathe your dog successfully:
- Brush your dog before bathing him to help remove any mats or dead hair.
- You may need to place a rubber bath mat in the tub to help prevent your pooch from sliding and slipping. Ensure you use lukewarm water, and then filling the tub to an utmost 4 inches.
- When the tub is outfitted with hand-held shower head, you could use it to moisten your dog from its head to tail. Also be careful not to focus the nozzle straight into your dog’s ears, eyes or nose. When you don’t have the hand-held shower head, you may use a large pitcher or even a plastic container to wash him.
- Once all moistened, lather in the dog shampoo all over your dog’s coat.
- Carefully rinse off the shampoo again avoiding the eyes, ears, and nose.
- This may be the best time to check your new dog’s ears for dirt and odours. Use the vet-approved solution and a cotton ball when cleaning your dog’s ears. DO NOT put the cotton into the ear canal.
- Once thoroughly rinsed you may use a large towel and, when needed, a hairdryer placed on low heat to help dry your dog. A lot of dogs may want to dash outside and wipe themselves all over the grass or even dirt immediately after a bath. In order to avoid this, confining your dog to the house for a while will help prevent having to do the entire process again.
Don’t try to make use of professional grooming apparatus on your dog if you aren’t trained to do so. This is because you may end up causing a bad injury to your dog. Giving your dog frequent haircuts is important in the Singaporean humid weather. Thus maintaining the fur well trimmed will help prevent matted fur as well as severe skin conditions.
It is essential to brush your dog’s fur if you would like for him to have a shiny, tangle-free coat. Make sure you pick the right brush type depending on the type of your dog’s fur. Slicker brushes and wire-pin brushes work well for the medium to long-haired types of dogs. Mat breakers and rakes are good for brushing out severe tangles and mats. Regular brushing helps prevent excess shedding as well as fur build up. Not considering the breed of your dog, nearly all dogs enjoy having their coat brushed hence you can do this as often as you like. Also, take this occasion to make a connection with your dog.
A dog’s oral hygiene is an important factor in their overall health, however, it is mostly overlooked. Similar to regular grooming, your dog’s dental care needs to be something it comes to expect every day.
Here you may use a human toothbrush. But you need to choose one which is soft and a size to match the dog’s mouth. Canine toothbrushes come in fingertip style and are more angled. These toothbrushes slip over your finger. Be sure to choose the kind of toothbrush you both like.
Your dog is unlikely to learn how to spit, thus the need for a toothpaste that is safe to swallow. This omits all human formulas, that contain detergent and abrasives that your dog shouldn’t swallow. Plus, your dog will prefer the seafood or poultry options of the canine toothpaste.
Pads Or Wipes
Wiping your dog’s teeth and gum can help remove some food and bacteria when you don’t have enough time for a full brushing session. You could use a dental pad for canines, which is obtainable at nearly all pet stores, or wrapping a gauze pad around your finger will also do the job.
Be sure to first test the nail clippers to ensure that the blades are in good working order. Despite the clipper style, always use a firm grip and then use your fingers in separating the dog’s toes this also makes the entire process easier. When this process seems intimidating, you may always have a professional groomer do it.
Undeniably, it might be hard resisting those endearing puppy eyes, that lovable wagging tail and the enthusiastic bark that will greet you when you first meet your pooch. However, you have to always remember that as the chosen or appointed human guardians of your dog, you are the one with better judgment concerning your decision and also actions. You are the one responsible for the decision to have a dog as well as responsible for the general well-being of your dog as soon as he is under your care.