Dogs are wonderful companions. Many people across the world choose to share their lives, food, homes, and spare time with their dogs. There are so many different breeds with different temperaments, qualities, and challenges alike. Dogs truly are the most special creatures, loved from Kenya to Morocco, Ghana to South Africa. In fact, dogs were the continent’s most searched pet as seen in the map below by this website.
But, owning a dog impacts more than just your happiness and playfulness around the house! They do have a significant impact on our lives. They create new tasks to keep up with, new bonds to develop, and new ways of living to discover. In this article, we are going to take a look at how owning a dog will completely change your life. Don’t worry, it’s all for the better.
There Are Reasons Dogs Are Popular
The vast majority of dogs are loyal, caring, protective, and playful creatures often referred to as “man’s best friend” due to these qualities. Domesticated dogs have been an ever-present part of human life for over 10,000 years in some areas. Some even estimate that Serbians domesticated dogs over 23,000 years ago. Humans have always loved their pets.
Dogs love being around their owners and doing whatever they can to please them. This makes dogs a very special companion to most people. They also protect their owners and are known for making people feel safer. Even small dogs can act as scary guard dogs. Dogs are also great for people with disabilities, visual impairments, or other special needs.
Dogs Require Space
Let’s examine dogs and the amount of space they require. Dogs, of course, need exercise, feeding, watering, and space to do their business. In some cases, it is enough to have a small yard and take the dog on a couple of walks per day. In other cases, you’ll need a large amount of space for your pup.
Different Breeds’ Needs
It’s quite obvious that different breeds of dogs will require differing amounts of space, time, and energy expenditure. For example, a Chihuahua, a toy-sized dog, will likely be happy being indoors most of the time. They are small and only require enough space to run their tiny legs around. A Great Dane, on the other end of the scale, will need both a huge home and a vast amount of outdoor space. This size of dog requires constant access to a yard, one that is big enough for it to run and play.
Somewhere in the middle, breeds like Labradors, Collies, and Bull Terriers fall. These dogs are the perfect mid-sized animal for most families. They do, of course, require regular walking and exercise – we’re talking twice a day! But they are healthy and satisfied in a medium-sized home with an average yard. It is a requirement to have enough space to keep your dog healthy, with different breeds having very different needs.
How Much Will This Space Cost?
Though it depends where you live, generally, bigger dogs will cost you more in terms of how much land you need to keep your pet healthy. Sticking with the prior examples, let’s look at Kenya and South Africa.
In Nairobi, Kenya, the average acre of land costs $17,524 while the average 1-3 bed home with a yard costs around $147,000. So, you want to buy some land, it’s pretty cheap! And, the average family home with a yard isn’t too bad either. A medium-to-large dog isn’t going to break the bank in Kenya!
In Cape Town, South Africa, however, things are a little different. The capital’s average acre of land fetches between $100-200,000 – more than quadruple the value of land in Nairobi. Similarly, the average family home with outdoor space sits at over $500,000 – meaning it is far more expensive to have a bigger dog in Cape Town.
Other Dog-Related Costs
Of course, it’s not only the space dogs require. They also need feeding, washing, trips to the vet, vaccinations, toys, bedding, and more! Obviously, any dog lover doesn’t mind spending this sort of money. But, it’s worth comparing once more. The average Great Dane eats 8-10 cups of food every day! The average Yorkshire Terrier eats only 175 calories a day – ¼ to ½ cup per day. That’s a huge difference in long-term expenditure. Combine the need for space with the need for food, regular vet trips, and everything else associated with dog ownership, and you’ll soon get an accurate picture of what sized breed is right for your family.
Do You Have The Time?
As well as money, dogs cost you time! This is not a bad thing at all unless you simply don’t have enough to give. Dogs demand attention, need feeding, and get seriously lonely when left for too long. If you’re pulling 16-hour shifts and sleeping the rest, you won’t be able to give a dog enough time and love. You should only buy or rescue a dog if you know you have plenty of hours to give it the attention it requires every day.
They’ll Keep You Fit!
Another thing you’ll need is energy. Dogs will want to walk every day, playing with, and interacting with very, very regularly. They take up a lot of energy! For many, this is a good thing as having a good-sized dog can help keep you fit. A large breed requires walking for a couple of hours a day. Even for a younger person, this is enough to help keep you in shape. An older person may not be able to keep up with the needs of a large, speedy dog, so might opt for a terrier or small breed instead.
So, as you can see, a dog of any size is going to change your life. Some will certainly take more time, money, and attention than others. But, all dogs are great. They bring such joy and happiness that we believe any amount of walking and feeding is totally worth it!