Dogs are one of the most popular domestic pets in the UK. If you are thinking of buying a dog it is really important to think carefully about all aspects of the choice before going ahead. The type and breed of dog you choose is likely to have a big influence on the care it needs so make sure that your dog is suitable for your lifestyle. A dog needs lots of love and care, including regular preventative treatment for worms and other parasites, vaccinations and dental care. You will also need to keep an eye out for potential health problems, including ticks, fleas and ear mites. If your new puppy or dog hasn't been neutered contact your vet to make discuss this.
Although most dogs do not often wander off on their own it is important that it carries some form of permanent identification to identify it if it is lost or stolen. In dogs the simplest form of permanent identification is a tiny microchip inserted under the skin in the neck which carries a unique number which idenitifes your dog's details on a central database. If your dog is not yet microchipped you should contact your vet to arrange for this to be done. Microchipping will become compulsory for dogs from April 2016 so there is little point delaying.
Dogs love human company and, unlike cats, often seek constant human contact. Don't forget that dogs need somewhere warm to sleep, a constant supply of water, daily feeds, toys to play with and regular exercise. You will have to take into account the cost of care for a dog, including food, veterinary care and pet insurance. You will also have to pay kennel charges when you go on holiday.
Pure bred dogs can live for up to 10 years old depending on their breed and some will live even longer. Over this time your dog will expect lots of care, companionship, exercise, time for play and grooming. You need to be sure you can provide all of this so that you and your dog can make the most of your time together.