Hello again! Realized that I didn’t introduce myself in the first article, so here’s a brief introduction about us! I’m Deslyn, still studying and I have adopted Dusty from SOSD on 25th July 2019.
For students who are graduating and considering getting a pet (dog, but not excluding other pets), please give a thorough thought about it. 🙂
Let me begin by asking you a few questions.
Why do you want a dog?
Are you capable of owning one?
What kind of behavioural traits or temperament dog are you looking for?
I’ve always liked and wanted a dog and I decided to have one because I wanted it as a companion and wanted to experience something different in life. As mentioned, I adopted Dusty last year when I was 21 years old. The process of finding THAT dog was not fast and easy, it took many months and effort in finding and emailing before meeting up with it.
(1) What did I consider before making the decision?
As mentioned in my previous article, knowing when is the right time to get a dog is important.
- At this age as young adults, we have yet to know what lies ahead of us. Personally, as a student who works pt, I have the extra time and cash to settle the dog before graduation. Also, I don’t travel much and won’t be out for long hours, so it’s not a concern about not having enough time for it now and in the future (as I have already know what I want to do).
- With my family’s lifestyle and situation, I was looking for a low energy, independent, and grass trained dog. Which was why I adopted Dusty.
(2) What do I have to prepare before it comes over?
Getting my first dog, I was very panicky and clueless on what to prepare before he comes over: necessities and food.
- Here are some of the necessities: bowl, collar/harness, leash, shampoo, and playpen. When getting a collar, harness and leash do make sure you get durable ones as you want to prevent your dog from escaping or from it breaking easily.
For x1 of each item, it may cost between $100 (for acceptable and sturdy ones) to a few hundred depending on the brands.
- Also, look up on what kind of diet you want to give your dog(of course, seek advice from your vet if necessary).
Here are some of the diets: kibble(dry), canned, home-cooked, raw, and freeze-dried. Whatever diet you choose for your dog, do your research on the good brands and the different nutrients required for your dog. Make sure what they consume is a well-balanced and nutritional meal.
For Dusty a medium-sized dog, it will cost me about $100 – $250 (depends on your dog’s size and the type of diet). It will definitely cost more including supplements and treats.
(Do take note of what other preparation is needed for each of the diets as well.)
For Dusty, he takes home-cooked food (~$100 excluding supplements and treats). In the beginning, I didn’t know the importance and thought it was okay to give him a single protein diet until @theroyaltail guided me on what is missing to make it a more nutritional and balanced meal. The meal prepping is tiring, it takes me about 4-6 hours to prepare 1 month’s worth of meal. From cutting/grinding about 11.5kg meat to weighing the daily portion needed of different proteins and keeping it in the fridge.
(3) What did I not expect after having a dog?
Having a dog is like having a toddler. Why?
- Indeed, they do not need constant attention (depending on the dog’s age and needs) but they do need our help to get through their daily needs, mainly walks and mealtimes.
- It seems like an easy and fast task but think about it, you are not doing this for days or weeks but years. There’s no off days or MCs, it’s a long-term and daily commitment of waking up early, meal prepping, walks, training, etc.
No matter how tired, sian, or lazy you feel before and after school/work you got to walk and feed it. You have to always plan ahead of time.
(4) What I want to tell people around my age who are considering getting a dog?
Responsibility, time, and money mentioned are important especially at our age. It’s where we learn to manage our time, finance, and independence.
- We don’t want what lies ahead of us in the future makes us care less for them and we don’t want them to hinder us from what we want to do in the future. So know what you want and what you can cope with.
- Don’t get a dog just because you want it and have the luxury of time in that phase of your life. And end up not doing and pushing all your dog’s daily necessary routines to your parents.
- Money, if you don’t have a source of income (not from parents) or the capability to support yourself daily (not from parents), then reconsider your options. Don’t make the dog a burden to you and your family. Maybe it’s not the right time yet.
You can always consider volunteering or fostering, in which some shelters or AWG do provide the necessities for the dog. Not only can you get to experience what it’s like to have a dog but at the same time, you will know if you are up for this game for the next 10 years.
To all youngsters and young adults, carefully think and consider your capabilities and your future before making this long-term commitment and promise.
If you think you are ready to get a dog, get prepared and all the best!
If you think it’s not the right time, focus on what you need to do first, the right time will eventually come!
Thank you for reading this article and have a great day!