You have everything right? Great job, nice car, gym membership, fab vacations. What is missing?
A dog! Hmmm 🤔 an easy trap to fall into when you have everything and crave for something more whilst living the expat life. Being expat means you are transient, not settled and often looking to go the extra mile to create perfect harmony and an ideal world to live in, in usually a better living situation than if you were in your home country. The media pressures to have a dog in your family to “complete the picture” can often overwhelm you together with friends and family egging you on to get a dog to have the picture perfect lifestyle.
Without stating the obvious owning a dog has its costs, feeding, veterinary care, boarding costs whilst travelling, possible daycare whilst at work etc, the list goes on. In all this time your dog will start to become an integral part of your family, a true member of your family loved by all and setting his or her own life in your routines. Just bliss for everyone, happy families 😊
Then the unthinkable happens, you have to move country either back home or move on to somewhere new. Be it a new job opportunity, your company is moving or indeed you have lost your job, everything you possess has to be counted for. Most people will size down, sell some belongings to free up space in the moving containers. Some are lucky to take everything with them. Either way you still have your family and this must include the dog right? Yes it must include your dog, this living, breathing, intelligent being is relying 100% on his family members to be taken along too, he is embedded in your world, his love, devotion and loyalty to you all this time needs to be seriously considered. The cost of relocating a dog can be very high (thousands of Dirhams sometimes) dependant on their size and how long a flight is and what medical requirements are needed in advance. This all adds up.
What is the aim of this blog, it is quite simply to make you think before you get a dog (or cat for that matter) if you are an expat and newly posted overseas, take a little time, ensure your situation is solid, that you are financially sound, that you also research the type of dog you want, some breeds are typically more difficult to look after than others (we will cover that in another blog) so you don’t dump a dog because it is too big, sheds too much, digs up your garden or barks too much. Start saving if you want a dog, it cost lots to relocate, plan for an unexpected departure in case your job doesn’t work out.
A dog is not a thing that can be handed on or put up on Social media to be moved on to another family. This beautiful soul will become a part of your family and will, without fail, suffer emotionally if left behind, there will be no guarantee where he or she will end up and no guarantee of their safety and well being once you are gone. There are thousands of dogs if not millions around the world that get abandoned by expatriates usually due to their owners not being able to afford costs.
If you are an expat, think before you get a pet, don’t let your pet become another statistic. Think, Plan, Assess you situation. If you can’t do the above, quite simply don’t get a pet yet until the time is right. 🐶