Ive been a dog lover and owner for many years. I grew up with Dalmatians and Collies and now I have a Beagle of my own.
There’s many pros and cons of being a dog owner. If you’ve been thinking about getting your own dog, then here are some things to consider first:
(I am saying these through gritted teeth at the moment after the last couple of days. My oh so wonderful Beagle keeps escaping from my garden and I cannot figure out how!)
- Dogs are the best company. I am definitely more of a dog person than a cat person. They are loyal, loving and caring. My husband works away a couple of nights a week and I couldn’t ask for a better companion. My Beagle (Seren) follows me everywhere I go. She is great company and if I am ever upset or tired she gives the best cuddles.
- They keep you fit. My Beagle needs quite a bit of exercise so I either walk or run with her every day. Ok, not all dogs need that much exercise, but most will need some and if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel guilty for not taking them. Plus it gets you out in the fresh air, meaning it will keep you fit, help you lose weight, reduces stress, decreases your risk of diabetes and lowers your cholesterol.
- A dog is a great addition to the family. I loved growing up around dogs and couldn’t imagine not having one. I think it brings many benefits to children including increasing their confidence, they will learn how to take care of a pet, increases activity and stops them being afraid of other dogs when out and about in the community.
- Dogs can be great security for your house. They don’t have to be aggressive for this, but will simply bark at any visitors, wanted or unwanted.
- They will be your best friend. Dogs can reduce stress, depression, isolation and increase confidence and activity too. My Beagle makes me laugh and smile every single day.
- They are also great for socialising and meeting other likeminded people.
- If the exercise is a barrier for you then it may be something you want to consider before going out and getting a dog. Most dogs need exercise, unless you want a small dog that will tire from being in the garden.
- If you work long hours and can’t give the necessary time for your dog then is it really practical?! Our pets need care, love and attention too. I don’t leave my dog on her own for more than a few hours, or if I have to then I take her to my parent’s farm.
- Having a dog can be costly. You have to buy their food, an annual trip (or more depending on health) to the vets, as well as doggy day care or kennels when you’re in work for long hours or on holiday. One thing I would definitely recommend is to make sure you have pet insurance incase you do have to make several trips to the vets.
- Training your dog is important so that it behaves the way you want. This takes time, patience and commitment (and plenty of treats). There are options to take them to training camps, but I bet these are super expensive.
My Beagle, Seren (which means star in Welsh) drives me absolutely insane – she is feisty (but all talk), pulls on the lead when she sees other dogs because she is so desperate to go and say hello, keeps escaping from our garden, and as she is a hound, if she is off the lead when on a walk and picks up a scent, she will totally ignore you, even when offering a treat, because the scent is far more interesting and clearly worth the telling off after. She is certainly a character (as you can see from the photos), but I love that about her. I love that she is a little cheeky (not when she pushes the boundaries though). I love that she keeps me active. I love that she knows when I am upset and how to cheer me up. I love that she is great with kids. I love that she is company for me when I am home alone. Mostly, I love how much happiness she brings to me.
For me personally, the pros far out weigh the cons. I don’t know what I would do without my Beagle. However, if I did have an extremely demanding job where a dog would be left on its own for hours on end or I was required to work away a lot, it would be something I would seriously have to consider and look at available options such as doggy day care. Remember, you want to be able to enjoy your dog too – they bring so much happiness to us.
Make sure you do some research before deciding as each breed is different and will suit different personalities e.g they all have different likes / dislikes, amount of exercise required and some are more obedient than others.
P.S. If you want an obedient dog DO NOT GET A BEAGLE!