Important Considerations

The main reason for animals coming to the shelter is a lack of knowledge and understanding of a pets long-term needs. The included information aims to set reasonable expectations of what's involved with looking after a pet.

Time considerations

All pets require a portion of your time, some pets more than others. It's important to remember that it's not just about the time you need to set aside for interaction, like walks, feeding, training, play time etc. but also the time you'll need to be at home. Dogs especially shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time, as they can become distressed and develop behaviour issues.

With regards to dogs, if you and the other people you live with all work full time, and aren't able to make arrangements during the day (dog walkers, returning at lunch, taking the dog to the office etc.) then we'd be unlikely to recommend owning a dog. Dogs are social animals and are happiest when they have someone to interact with, or even just keep them company.

Lifestyle considerations

Not everyone has a lifestyle that supports certain types of pet ownership, and taking on a pet that could live for decades is a big responsibility. Many of the dogs that come into our care are as a result of misunderstanding or underestimating just how much time and effort it takes to own a dog.

But there are other considerations than time:

  • Can you give your pet safe access to a garden or somewhere safe outside?
  • Animals cannot be let outside when they are first rehomed
  • What coat type would you prefer? Would you mind having to groom your pet every day and frequently vacuum your house?
  • Do you live on a main road?
  • Is anybody in your household allergic to the type of pet you are considering?

Fireworks

Please remember that some animals can become very distressed when they hear fireworks and other sudden, loud banging noises. Party poppers etc. can also provoke a reaction in some animals. The most important thing is to have a safe space for the animal and to ensure that it can't easily escape, even if normally it wouldn't want to. That said be careful not to confine your animal to a small space if it's not confortable there, this could cause further distress or injury.

In the case of dogs having a crate, cupboard under the stairs or even just a bed tucked away somewhere dark and quiet can really help. Get them used to the space when they're not distressed, so that it doesn't have a negative connotation. Also make sure to avoid letting them off the lead around times when there are likely to be fireworks, as they may run off.

Having music or television on can help mask some of the noise. White-noise is especially effective at drowning out other noises.

Also keep in mind that bright, sudden flashes of light can be just as distressing as the sound, so you may need to draw curtains/cover windows as well.

Approximate costs

There's no way around it, caring for a pet costs money. Here is an approximate yearly cost for each type of pet - although please note that these costs can vary depending on a number of factors!

Dogs
  • Food: £15/month
  • Worm & Flea Treatment: £50/year
  • Vet appointments: £25 per visit
  • Insurance: £25/month
  • Kennel boarding: £200 for two weeks
  • Approximate yearly total: £755
Cats
  • Food: £15/month
  • Worm & Flea Treatment: £50/year
  • Vet appointments: £25 per visit
  • Insurance: £10/month
  • Kennel boarding: £200 for two weeks
  • Approximate yearly total: £740
Small animals
  • Food: £5/month
  • Vet appointments: £25 per visit
  • Approximate yearly total: £100