Dogs Remain Most Popular Animal Choice for First-Time Pet Owners

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FIRST-TIME PET OWNER: Which dog is best for your family? Photo: Shutterstock


CHOOSING your first pet takes careful consideration and while there is no shortage of different pet options in the Costa Blanca, dogs remain the most popular choice for animal lovers in the country.

At present it is believed that there are approximately 5.2million dogs living in Spanish homes, equating to roughly 22% of the Spanish pet population. There is an old saying that states that dogs repay the love you give them ten-fold.

While this is undeniably true, it is just one of many reasons why dogs are such a popular choice for first-time pet owners. Apart from being relatively easy to care for, having a long life-span, and being highly-intelligent, dogs will also bring immeasurable love and joy into any home.

Which dog is best for your family?

There are a number of factors you need to consider before deciding what dog will be the best addition to your family.  The ideal size, age, and energy level of your new dog, together with your family’s current lifestyle will all determine whether you choose a dachshund or poodle over a German Shephard or bulldog, for instance. If you have children it is, of course, of vital importance to ensure that they are ready to interact with a dog and also so you can make sure you adopt a dog that is inherently good with children. Bulldogs, golden retrievers, and poodles are all popular dog breeds in the Costa Blanca and are also all known to be very good with children.

Take special care of your new family member

Your new dog will require a lot of attention to make him feel at home. Apart from being showered with love and attention, it is important to also supply him with sufficient amounts of good-quality dog food and fresh water to drink.  Regular check-ups by one of the dedicated vets in the region together with regular exercise will help keep your canine companion in tip-top shape. Don’t forget to get your dog a comfortable doggy bed, toys to play with, and some healthy treats to reward his good behaviour. There are countless superb dog-related products like these on the market that can make caring for your pup a lot easier and more fun. It might even be a good idea to subscribe to a subscription box service that will provide you with interesting and relevant goodies on a regular basis.

Beware of unexpected dangers

While the Costa Blanca is considered to be a dog lover’s paradise it is important that, as a new dog owner, you are aware of the dangers that often lurk in the shadows. Earlier this year as many as 28 dogs in the region, along with some wildlife, succumbed to strychnine poisoning. Incidents such as these, together with the general risks imposed by vehicles on the road, make it vitally important to keep your pets safe at all times. Work on a €331,000 dog park in Las Lagunas that will provide dog owners and their furry friends with a safe, secure environment in which to exercise, has begun and is expected to be completed shortly, weather permitting.

Adopt, don’t shop

When you acquire your new puppy from a pet shop , chances are good that you are supporting an illegal puppy mill. Instead, rather visit one of the numerous animal shelters in the Costa Blanca and adopt a new companion into your family. The Society for the Care of Animals in Need (SCAN) is one such an organisation that works tirelessly to save distressed animals, care for them, arrange medical care where needed, and ultimately finding them loving new homes.  SCAN, as well as other organisations in the area such as the Triple A animal charity in Maribella, depends largely on donations from the public. It is for this reason why supporting the various fundraising initiatives supporting these charities is becoming increasingly important. While enjoying the new addition to the family make sure to keep your eye out for an event in your area that can do with your support.

Getting a pet is a huge responsibility. Before bringing a puppy or dog home make sure that your entire family is ready to make a life-long commitment that will involve loving and caring for your canine companion every day for the rest of his life.

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