We all know the saying that a mans best friend is his dog. This is undeniably true. No matter how much of a douche you are they will continue to love you, you can never embarrass them and you can never be in the dog house with them; can’t always be said about the other loves in your life.
Let’s introduce Maximus aka Max. This beauty is a 10 month old Staffordshire bull terrior X black Labrador. Looks just like a Staffie but with the never ending appetite of a Lab; this includes many many pairs of trainers, that’s another chapter that we’ll cover later.
So why am I introducing you to Max? I’d hesitantly say it’s a heads up to the trials and tribulations of being a dog owner. A reminder that you have to take the good with the bad, and that a dog is not just for Christmas. This is evident in the world of Max.
Max came to be in my life after a quick search on preloved (a website that doesn’t quite seem right in its name). I decided that I wanted a bouncy smiling face when I walked through the door after a long day at work. He was advertised by a family who’s numbers had got ‘too big’ to provide Max with the life that he deserves. Now there was no new members of the family when I was there and their youngest being 2 ( Max was about 7 months at the time). So it was rather the family had grown past the initial honeymoon of having a dog and could not be bothered to carry on providing for the commitment they signed up for; a touchy subject which I could bang on about, and trust me, I will soon.
Chapter 1 – A dog is not just for Christmas
Ok, so the name of this chapter is a phrase which I have use once before in this post, and it’s a point I want to drive home. It can, however, also fall into many other categories;
‘A dogs not just for birthdays’
‘A dogs not just for valentines day’
‘A dogs not just for fun’
As you can imagine that list could go on. So firstly let’s look at what you are signing up for when you decide you want a loving family pet. After discussing whether you go for dog or cat (and obviously choose dog) what’s next?
First things first, consider the costs of owning a dog. This can vary from pooch to pooch but can range from vet bills to ongoing food costs. Not to put you off the decision it’s just important to understand.
If you, for example, get a puppy. You will need to get inoculations. This can range from £30-60 depending on the size. Not too much of a cost I’d imagine you’ll be thinking. Then after a few months you will need to look into castration or neutering depending on the gender.
Let’s stop there. Max is a man pooch and in the coming weeks will be having the snip. As a man myself I have put this off for a couple of months because the thought doesn’t sit well with me or my own genitals. Can’t help but to feel a twang of guilt every now and then for even considering it. It’s chopping off his man bits. Upon reflection, it actually opens up the doors for further opportunities. Big one being, allowing him off the lead without fear that he will run to the hills because he can smell a bitch in heat (the scent travels up to 2miles!!!).
So the cost of neutering is heavily dependent on the size of the dog, as the cost is generally worked out on the amount of drugs it will take to knock them out for a few hours, Max for example is about 16kg and in total his castration will cost £160. Now the costs are rising a bit.
We all love good food, but not more so than mans best friend. I do not think I’ve ever met a dog who has stopped eating because they are full, their pits are bottomless!! You will also want to feed them decent quality food to enrich their lives. So if we consider James Welbeloved (I choose this because that’s what Max likes) it works out at about £6 kg. Max would chomp through a kg a day if allowed, however, this would result in one round pooch. So he’s limited to the recommended 250g a day over two sittings. It’s about £1.50 a day, £10.50 a week £42 a month. So the same as a basic phone contract.
In our first episode I have briefly covered the fact that a dog is not just for Christmas, and the average ‘running cost’ of pet ownership. It’s not all doom and gloom. Over the next few weeks I will show you the agonies, joys and rewards of dog ownership.
Chapter 1.2 – The good side to the commitment you’re signing up for.
Please leave comments below if you enjoyed this first instalments or for any advice you would like to pass on. I would like to hear whether you would be interested in a second instalment.
Keep barking people.
Max’s loving, slightly greyer, owner/friend.