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At Hey Muttley we love pets and know you do too! Get the best information, tips and treats to help make your pets life amazing!

What to consider when getting a dog?

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What to consider when getting a dog? We come across this question all the time and it’s one we feel is of utmost importance. Here, Hey Muttley discuss some of the key considerations to think about when getting a dog and offer further articles linking to this topic. We welcome any professional advice and tips, so please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below. Enjoy the article.

I work 9-5 but really want a dog. Can I have a dog and work full-time?

All dogs need company and exercise so there really isn’t a breed which you can leave all day. If you are working full-time you will need to place your dog in ‘doggie daycare’ or arrange for a dog walker to come in both morning and afternoon. But you really need to think about whether it’s the right time to get a dog in these circumstances? The dog carer may end up with as close a relationship to your dog as you….. as they will be spending time, sharing experiences & fun which creates a bond with the dog. However maybe that’s okay as it enables you to keep a dog at this stage of your life and most importantly, your dog is happy.

What dog is best for country living?

Working breeds such as Border Collies, Labradors and Spaniels are often trained by farmers and gamekeepers to work in the countryside. If you are just lucky enough to enjoy a rural lifestyle and want a dog to enjoy it with you then there are numerous candidates. Many large dogs would enjoy the big outdoors with plentiful country walks and fresh air. Such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, Weimaraner’s, Boxers, Setters, Lurchers or Irish Wolfhounds. These breeds all need lots of exercise and are very robust. Spaniels and Labradors love mud and water, greyhounds and whippets love to run, and Jack Russell’s and most terriers love to explore the undergrowth. In fact, most dogs LOVE country living. 

For more information about matching your dog with your lifestyle, click here to read ‘What dog suits my lifestyle’.

Can I let my dog run loose in the countryside?

It’s lovely to see your dog happily running free in a wide-open space. But you must be confident that your dog will come back when called, how is their recall? If you’re not sure, then maybe an extendible long lead is best as there is nothing worse than your dog running out of sight and the worry of trying to find it over a vast open expanse of land. Another concern is livestock. Farmers are at liberty to shoot any dog found worrying their sheep. This is because every year many sheep are killed and often abort their lambs due to dog attacks. Even if you think your dog would never be tempted, please keep them on a lead near sheep fields. Also, some dogs pick up the scent of deer and can go off on the chase, ignoring your calls. So be sensible, be wise, and enjoy the countryside.  

Looking at dog training? Click here to find out what to look for when booking a dog trainer.

What dog is best for town living?

Probably smaller/medium-sized dogs that need shorter walks and are content to enjoy local parks and green spaces. Some breeds are happiest in the company of people and don’t need wide open spaces. For example, Toy dogs such as chihuahua, toy poodles, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu or French Bulldog. 

For more information about matching your dog with your lifestyle, click here to read ‘What dog suits my lifestyle’.

How long can I leave a dog at home?

Usually no more than 4 hours unattended.

For more information about leaving your dog at home while a puppy, click here.

For more information about leaving your dog at home, click here.

Can I leave my dog at home while I go to work?

As above - all dogs need company and exercise so there really isn’t a breed which you can leave all day. If you are working full-time you will need to place your dog in ‘doggie daycare’ or arrange for a dog walker to come in both morning and afternoon.

The importance of a professional service provider.

If you choose to use services to help your dog while your away or at work, it is important to find a professional, licensed and insured service provider. In the doggy world, believe it or not the service sector is pretty much unregulated... I know, it’s a shocker! With dog walking, dog boarding, dog sitting, dog training and dog grooming it’s important to do a little research to see if they are a professional legitimate business. Make sure they are fully insured, just in case something unexpected happens and finally, make sure they are licensed. It is now the law in the UK that all dog boarders must be licensed by their local council. This means regular checks to keep up to standards and restrictions of how many dogs can be kept at once. All in order for the service provider to care for your loved one as best they can and upkeep a standard of care you would expect. Being a fairly new law, you will still find some trading without this license and many online service platforms promoting this… (we will dive deeper into this topic in articles to come)

These ‘From the Expert’ articles by professionals in their field will help you know what to look out for:

Dog Boarding - How to find a home boarder for your dog.

Dog Training - What to look for when booking a dog trainer.

Dog Grooming - The importance of dog grooming.