Caring for your pet in Munich

Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Dog Owner in Munich

Welcome to our Pet Corner, where we will focus on caring for your dog in Munich. In our first post, we consider buying or adopting a dog in this dog-friendly city.

Munich has large patches of green, parks galore, even lakes for swimming. Idyllic for pet owners. You can take them practically everywhere. Even on public transportation. Seeing all these adorable and well-behaved pups may make you want to have one too. However, bringing a dog into the family should be given a lot of thought. It should never be an emotional or impulsive decision, even when you have the best of intentions at heart.

Don’t buy/adopt a dog:

… because you are lonely

… because the kids want one

… or because you’re in-between jobs

That is why so many dogs end up on the streets and in shelters. It´s a huge responsibility to care for another living soul. Especially, when our lives involve working long hours and traveling. Just finding time for yourself is hard enough.

In my case, my husband and I are more settled (another word for older). We have fallen into a routine the last three years and this is important for pets. We like this routine, so we started preparing ourselves for some extra companionship. Here are the difficult questions we had to answer throughout our decision-making process.

Questions to consider before buying/adopting a dog:

  • Does anyone in the family have allergies?
  • If renting, does the owner of the house/apartment allow pets?
  • Does my house/apartment accommodate the dog? For example, space for a large breed vs. small breed? Barking? This could become more of a problem in an apartment vs. a house.  Do I need a garden/yard ?
  • Do you have time to train and exercise your dog 365 days a year?
  • Can you afford feeding, training, vet bills, accessories, pet insurance, medication etc.?  Budget is almost always underestimated and is a big reason why so many dogs end up in shelters. 
  • Do I buy from a breeder or adopt from a dog shelter?
  • What would be an appropriate breed to fit with my lifestyle? High energy and active dogs, think agility course, hiking, biking, swimming that can keep up with your active lifestyle. Or more sedentary, lower energy dogs that are great with one or two walks a day and cuddles.
  • If myself or family members are not home most of the day, do we have options for someone to check on the dog and take it outside?  Or do I have the option to make it home on my lunch break?
  • Do I have a plan and/or options in place for when we travel? Pet friendly vacations? Doggy Hotel, Babysitter?

Questions specific to Munich:

  • Do we need to register a dog in Munich? What’s the cost?
  • Do I need insurance in Munich? What type?
  • Do dogs need mandatory training in Munich?
  • Where can I adopt a dog in Munich?

Considering buying a puppy from a reputable breeder? Questions to ask:

  • Can you meet the puppy´s parents and the puppy?
  • Health profile of this specific breed? Any genetic health concerns?
  • Any general personality tendencies? Exercise requirements?
  • What vaccines have they received? Do they have a health guarantee?
  • Are you prepared to spend the money it costs to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder?
  • Does the breeder start early with training and socialization for everyday household noises, small children, cats or other animals, kennels, leash training, puppy pee pads etc.?
  • Are you ready for the challenges of raising a puppy? Puppies are hard work because they are just babies and require more of your time, especially in the beginning. It is important that it is the right time in your life for a puppy!

Considering adoption/rescue of an adult dog or puppy? Questions to ask:

  • What is this pet’s story? Have they ever been sick before? Do they need medication?
  • Why was it at the shelter? Have they been adopted before and returned? Why?
  • Are they spayed/neutered? Chipped? Vaccinated?
  • Do they behave well around other people, children, dogs, cats?
  • Are they house trained? Are they used to walking on a leash?
  • Any general personality tendencies? Anxiety, excessive barking? Exercise requirements?
  • Rescuing a dog/puppy does not mean it is free.  Are you prepared for costs and fees associated with adoption?
  • If you adopt a puppy, many of the same questions mentioned above when purchasing from a breeder, also apply.

Be prepared before dog arrives:

  • What to feed him/her? When? How many times a day?
  • When will I walk him/her? They need a routine!
  • Shall I line up a vet already, just in case?
  • What toys and pet accessories will I need? Bed, kennel, food bowls, etc.
  • How to pet-proof or puppy proof your home

We were ready and tackled each of those questions one by one before adopting a dog.

Yes, we rescued a shelter dog!!!


Up next in our pet corner series we will cover the actual adoption process.

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