Do you think you’re ready to become the proud owner of a bundle of furry fun? While it may feel like the right choice at the moment, if you are not prepared to have a dog in your life, you may suffer the consequences of a rash decision further down the line. Take a few minutes to consider your situation, before you sign on the dotted line.

Do you have what it takes to be a responsible dog owner?

Being a responsible dog owner is a way of life, not just a part-time job. It is a commitment to another living creature who will require your love, your time and your attention. Consider for a moment whether you are prepared to give up your own time and commit yourself to a dog. When he needs to be walked, to go to the vet, or to be disciplined, it all falls on your shoulders.

Can you afford a dog?

A dog can be an expensive investment. Even just basic expenses can range from the hundreds into the thousands of dollars, not to mention the additional treats and toys you will no doubt purchase from time to time. In the event that your dog develops a disease or health condition, you may face additional spiralling costs to treat his condition. It may be worthwhile to consider taking out pet insurance so that any unforeseen medical expenses may be settled by your insurers. Even so, you must also consider the cost of that insurance within your budget.

Is your home appropriate for a cockapoo dog?

Cockapoos, and puppies in general, are curious and excitable pets. You may need to give special attention to pet-proofing your home. Rather than relying on any existing child-proofing which you may already have around the house, dogs will cause a different kind of damage to a home. Items may more easily be eaten, gnawed and scratched, and so designating certain areas as being off-limits will likely be important. For instance, it may be appropriate to confine your dog to the ground floor of your home, and so access to bedrooms upstairs is not allowed. Or perhaps the basement is off-limits due to hazardous chemicals stored there. Give due consideration to the size of your house, and the size of the dog you intend to adopt or purchase. Smaller apartments will probably not be best suited to the larger breeds of dog, although your cockapoo may find it comfy. Consider also the other members of your family. If you have other pets, or young children, or elderly parents living with you, how will they be affected by your intended new arrival?

Can your lifestyle fit a dog?

You may need to evaluate your priorities. If spending time away from home working or socializing with friends takes up much of your week, you may have to decide against getting a dog at this point. If you find that you do not have a great deal of spare time at the moment, how do you intend to make that time to walk your new dog, play with him at the park, spend time grooming him, feeding him and making sure he gets to the vet regularly? However, having considered how you spend your time currently, you may find that with a little effort and organization, you can adjust your schedule to accommodate your dogs needs.

Do you have limitations?

Do you have any health conditions or injuries which might hinder your ability to care for your dog fully? Spend time with other dogs before getting one yourself, and see whether you suffer from any allergies. It may also be a good idea to dog-sit for friends when they are away on vacation. It will give you the opportunity to see how you manage to walk a dog each day, and spend sufficient time grooming and playing with him. It may be that you find yourself tired after caring for a large or energetic dog, and you may adjust your ideas and seek a smaller breed of dog instead. If you are disabled, you may consider getting an assistance dog who is specially trained to be a helper and companion to you.

Do you know much about Cockapoos?

If you don’t know a lot about this breed, do your research. We offer The Cockapoo Owner’s Handbook in three formats here on the site, as well as a free obedience training guide, so go on and get reading!