Real-life MMD: Pet dog or doghouse?



  • liz545
    liz545 Posts: 1,726 Forumite
    If you're considering getting a dog, it has to be something that everyone in the family wants and is committed to. A rescue centre might be a better option than a breeder - they do a lot of work in matching the right dog to your circumstances, dogs are usually neutered/vaccinated first, and there are a lot of dogs that need good homes. (Full disclosure - I volunteer for a rescue). A puppy, if you haven't had a dog before, will be a lot of work and needs more time than an adult dog.

    I'd suggest sitting down as a family to discuss the issue. If your son's old enough, maybe he could start saving up from his pocket money for the first year's insurance? This will help him understand the responsibility and costs of dog ownership. You could also ask him to research the costs of ownership - insurance, food, vets bills, kennels - so you can make an informed decision together as a family. This isn't the kind of decision you should rush into, and before Christmas isn't really the best time, but it can be very rewarding and fun!
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  • A.Jones
    A.Jones Posts: 508 Forumite
    newpuppy wrote: »

    A dog's only link to a decent life is its owner, and if there's not total commitment, there will be problems - for the dog, yourself, your family, the rescue community and possibly the poor vet who has to put the dog to sleep when things hit rock bottom (check out the figures for unwanted/problem dogs if you need a shock).

    The vet will not be poor.
  • As several people have advised, TALK ABOUT IT! Why do things in secret? Your wife might not even want the holiday you're planning. Discuss things and be open - it saves a lot of trouble all round.
  • Well I'd get the dog but only from a rescue centre - yes it will still cost but you'll be giving a home to an unwanted pet and the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.. You can always save up again for a holiday but bear in mind the costs of putting the dog in kennels (if that's what you have to do).
    It's 5 o'clock somewhere!
  • EVERYONE in the family must want a dog, and the adoption of a dog shouldn't be "either a dog or a holiday."
    Go on holiday. Enjoy it.
  • tallgirld
    tallgirld Posts: 484 Forumite
    First Anniversary

    Get the dog when you get back :)
  • dave2
    dave2 Posts: 264 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I didn't think dogs were very expensive, unless you buy pedigree. Mongrels probably cost nothing especially if they're a rescue, and they tend to be a lot healthier due to having a gene pool.

    The main issue is that a dog would be a new family member and requires a lot of commitment taking care of. A lot of attention, regular feeding, walks (a medium or big dog requires a LOT of exercise), more house cleaning and so on. You'll need someone to look after it if you go far away on holiday. All this for many years, likely beyond when your son leaves home and probably can't take dog with him. A dog can be a wonderful addition to a family IF the family is appropriate one throughout its life.

    If you do get one go through a reputable source, particularly if a rescue. They should make sure you are prepared and that the dog is suitable, especially for a first-time dog owner. These days I think they come and check out you and your home to make sure its suitable.
  • Ask neighbour with a dog if the lad could walk it and see if rainy days and cold weather put a dampner on his enthusiasm to take it out. teaches children responsiblity so its a good thing, best of all your child gets a new best friend.
  • Why keep the planned holiday secret from your wife? You might enjoy surprising her but you're depriving her of all the fun of anticipation between now and then. Tell her what you're doing and the problem will be solved whether or not you get the dog.
  • rojanich
    rojanich Posts: 31 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Most of these MMDs can be answered by communication......

    Talk to your wife and son about the responsibility of feeding, grooming, walking, paying for vet etc. Oh, and if the dog lives for 15-20 years whose is it when it is old, smelly and creaky and even more expensive in vet's fees and son leaves home ?

    Talk to your wife about the money you are salting away to take her on a holiday she hasn't so far had any knowledge of (anticipation is sometimes doubles the pleasure).

    Just sit down and talk about your finances and aspirations. Be a family.

    Oh and if you do get a dog please do rehome one.
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