Double Coated Dogs are a great addition to any family…but can you afford them, and are you ready to commit your time to looking after and loving them throughout their lifetime! Let’s take a look at the 15 essential things you should be thinking about before taking one home.
1. Can I afford a double coated dog?
The cost of buying a pure bred double coated dog has risen sharply since Covid 19 engulfed the world. My Japanese Spitz cost AU$1,800 back in June 2015, and pre-Covid only rose to $2,000. Now, the same puppy costs between $3,500-$4,500 as these breeds are in high demand which outweighs supply. And that’s just the beginning. You also have to think about the costs of feeding, grooming, and training, as well as the possible cost of insurance, possible de-sexing, and unexpected vet bills.
2. Research the double coated dog breed
Look at the traits of the dog you’re interested in. If they require lots of exercise, make sure you are able to provide the time to do a workout with your dog once or more every day. The dog you want has to fit into your lifestyle and home, so make sure there’s enough room for both of you.
3. Double coated dog specific education
Make sure you are aware of what grooming is required to keep your puppy feeling and looking its best. Also research their personality to see what they are stubborn about learning, and how to shape and train them to be the loving, obedient dog you want. Also take into consideration regular vet check-ups for any breed-specific genetic problems.
4. Double coated dog nutrition
It is essential to give your double coated dog a natural lifestyle diet of raw meat and fresh, raw vegetables, a nutritious breakfast, and a variety of fun natural snacks to keep them interested. My dog loves licking a teaspoon of 100% natural peanut butter, eating a raw carrot (which is good for his teeth), or for an extra special treat gnawing on a dried pig’s ear. Make sure you have the funds and availability to supplies on a regular basis.
5. Lifestyle change
Most double coated dogs live anywhere between 10-20 years. And just like a part of the family, they require attention, exercise, feeding, and most importantly being loved! They also require a place to sleep, regular outings, and if you’re single – meeting any potential partners that maybe part of your (and their) future. Think about immediate to future planned holidays, and who would look after them while you are living it up overseas or interstate.
6. Sensitivity and Allergy
Check out all the hazardous foods, chemicals, and plants that could be harmful to your beloved double coated pup. Chocolate and onions are at the top of the list, but I’ll let you research the rest.
7. Local environment hazards
Make sure you know what parasites and animals are common to your local community, or anywhere where you walk your double coated dog. Deadly parasitic ticks are common in tropical locales where the wildlife roam about.
I know this is part of the education section, but I cannot stress how much you need to research exactly what needs to be done to ensure your double coated dog has a healthy, lush coat. You also need to know the difference between clipping and trimming, and how much to do as not all double coats grow back if shaven short.
10. Basics before bringing your new puppy home
This includes a collar, lead, bed, food and water bowls, dog washing shampoos and grooming products, nutritional food for all their meals, toys, and toilet training pads/essentials. Also consider car seat covers and restraints, towels for drying off from seaside swims or muddy playtimes, and whether there are other existing pets to consider.
If you have a rear yard, ensure that it is fenced off high enough so your dog can’t get out, and that your dog can’t dig under it. If you are leaving your dog outside for periods of time during the day, make sure they have areas of shade, plenty of water available, and are safe and secure.
It takes plenty of patience when toilet training a double coated pup, let alone getting past the biting, disobedience, and embarrassing you by doing a number two in front of onlookers at a local café.
13. Rescue or buy privately
If you are thinking of getting a rescue dog or puppy, you will need to find out as much information about the dog as possible regarding their history, any abuse issues, behaviour issues, social restrictions, and any disabilities that may impair them from getting around. When buying from a registered breeder, check all papers are in order, the history and lineage of the parents, breed-specific problems, and the traits associated with the breed.
14. Long-term best friend
Once you take your double coated dog home, you are the number one person in that dog’s life. He or she will look to you for guidance and support, training, sleeping and feeding. You can’t make any decision about holidays, moving, or introducing someone new into the family without considering and involving your double coated dog. They are your new child, and they are here for the long term.
If you are wanting a cat as well, it’s best to get the cat first so they get a sense of their own surroundings beforehand. My flatmate decided he wanted a cat, so I suggested he get the cat first, and I would wait 3 months before introducing my Japanese Spitz. They became best friends growing up together. You can of course easily introduce a young kitten into the household after you have adopted the dog, as the dog usually takes straight away to nurturing the kitten, and the kitten sees the dog as its guardian and close friend.
15. Comfortable environment
Make sure you have enough room and a safe, welcoming environment your new dog will love. Ensuring you have a dog-safe car also helps allowing them enough space to see out the windows, sleep if they need to on long road trips, and a secure car harness to keep them safe. Having bottled water and a bowl, and a fresh towel is also essential to have on hand no matter where you end up. Unless you are 100% ready to commit, then introducing a double coated dog into your family unit will not work. This dog needs love, being inclusive in every decision (and photo), and has needs that only you can help with. Don’t get a dog as a quick fix to some underlying problem, or you will both suffer.