Before getting a Dog

Things to consider

"Am I suitable to be a dog owner?"

Before getting a dog, ask yourself the following questions. Press "Yes" or "No" as appropriate.

A dog

1. Are you allowed to keep a dog in the place you live in?

Make sure you check with the management office or the owners’ corporation before you get a dog to see if keeping of dogs is allowed in the building / estate you live in.
Then you should NOT get a dog. The Subsidised Housing Committee of the Housing Authority endorsed at its meeting on 25 September 2003 to uphold the ban on dogs in public housing estates. Therefore, all public housing estates in Hong Kong do not allow the keeping of dogs. Many private housing estates also ban the keeping of dogs.
A residential building

2. Is your home spacious enough for keeping a dog?

A flat
Make sure your home has enough space for the dog to move around freely and the environment is dog friendly. The space requirement for keeping different breeds of dogs is different. Large dogs may require more space to run around.
If your home has little space for the dog to move around freely or your family members do not like dogs or have allergies to dogs, then maybe you should consider getting other types of pets such as rabbits or hamsters.

3. Do all your family members agree to have a dog?

That’s great. If you get your family’s consent before getting a dog, they will feel respected and it will be easier for them to accept a new member into the family.
Then you should NOT get a dog. You and your family members might come into conflict because of the dog.
A family with a dog

4. Are you prepared to take care of a dog for its entire life?

A lady with an old dog
If you get a dog, make sure you are committed to your dog for the rest of its life, which can last for 12 to 15 years or more. Your dog, like humans, can get ill especially as it ages, you should seek veterinary attention and provide proper care to your dog at all times.
Then you should NOT get a dog. Depending on the breeds, some dogs can live up to 15 years or more. If you are not ready to make this commitment, then don’t get a dog.

5. Do you have time to take care of a dog?

Make sure you have enough time to take good care of the dog. You will need to spend up to a few hours a day to feed, bathe, groom, walk, train, exercise and play with it.
Then you should NOT get a dog. A dog needs attention and care, if you don’t have time for it, you should not get one.
Training a dog

6. Can you afford to keep a dog?

Dog is sleeping on its bed
Make sure you set aside money for your dog. You will need to pay for its food, supplies, vet bills, etc. A dog can cost you thousands of dollars every year. Large dogs will cost you even more.
Then you should NOT get a dog. A dog cannot support itself financially, it relies on the owner to pay for its needs.

Please think carefully before getting a dog, make sure you are committed to your dog for the rest of its life. Never buy or adopt a dog on impulse, many dogs are abandoned because the owners could not commit.
'One Precious Life, One Lifetime Decision.' Poster

Kinds of dogs

“What kind of dog should I get?”

If you have decided to keep a dog, congratulations. People with dogs tend to be happier and healthier. If you are willing to invest time, effort, love and patience to build a close relationship with your dog, the reward is years of companionship, protection and unconditional love. But you may wonder, what kind of dog suits you the most, here are a few questions you need to ask when choosing the right dog for yourself.

A big dog and a small dog
  1. What size of dog suits you the most?

    Although it seems logical that a small breed dog is more suitable for people living in small flats, there are actually other factors you need to consider besides the size of the dog. You need to check whether the energy level, temperament and personality of the dog are compatible with your lifestyle in addition to its size. Some smaller breeds such as Terriers, are very energetic. They need lots of exercises and outdoor activities.

    If you have kids or elderly people in your family, you should look for a gentle, steady and obedient dog.

A puppy and a mature dog
  1. Do you prefer a puppy or a mature dog?

    Puppies might be cuter but they require a lot more time and attention than mature dogs. For example, puppies need to be fed three to four times a day but a mature dog only needs to be fed once to twice daily.

    Also, puppies are much more energetic and active than a mature dog, young children and elderly people may not have the ability to manage a puppy’s exuberance. You will need to spend a great deal more time to train and take care of the puppy and will need to be extra patient to tolerate the puppy’s chewing phases.

A mongrel dog and a purebred dog
  1. Do you prefer purebred dogs or mongrels?

    Some people prefer purebred dogs because they are attracted by the particular look or characteristics of a certain breed. Others prefer mongrels because they are unique and stronger physically due to their genetic diversity which makes them less prone to genetic health problems.

    If you want to be more certain about the appearance and size of the dog, then a purebred dog might be more suitable for you. But the temperament and personality of the dog can differ on an individual basis. It is best to assess such parameters by interaction and observation.