*My Best Friend, with PetPlan

This "job" has some weird and wonderful perks, but nothing beats being able to talk about my dog and tick it off as a work based task. Pet Plan Pet Insurance (conveniently, Lopez's insurer) got in touch to talk about their "Women's Best Friend" campaign and I couldn't say no. I am without a doubt a crazy dog owner. Lopez bounded into my life nearly 10 years ago and even though I had zero experience of looking after a dog (we had lots of dogs around us in Wales with my grandparents but as my parents both worked full time we had cats growing up). From the very moment I laid eyes on Lopez it was love. He was 6 inches long and so fat he couldn't get his paws on the floor to run about. I knew we'd be besties.

links to products = dress / shoes / Lopez's collar

Lopez has been one of few constants for the last decade and is truly my best mate. He has completely "evened out my bumps" as the responsibility of having something to keep alive has meant you kind of have to get yourself together. Before I go into all the gushy stuff, dog ownership forces a routine and stability into your life that I really didn't consider ahead of getting him.

Lopez is a Maltese Terrier and I got him fairly serendipitously; his mum was owned by a family friend. I was the first in my friendship groups to get a dog, I was only 24 and everyone else was more focussed on the price of jagerbombs than animal ownership... But if I had a pound for every person who has come to me since and said "I'm thinking about getting one, do you have any advice?" I would be writing this from my luxury yacht moored off the Bahamas... PetPlan has put together a load of really useful information on different breeds (temperaments, needs, common ailments, etc) that I know has helped friends make decisions around which dog to get, here and whether or not they're ready to take one on.

links to products = dress / shoes / Lopez's collar

I would have welcomed this kind of advice myself, as my friends will know there have been a few times that I was completely thrown by some of the weird and wonderful challenges Lopez has given me. For example the time he swallowed 4 hair bands whole, or the time he ate an Easter egg, foil and all. Or the time he got himself way too excited with one of his cuddly toys and I had to cancel Friday night plans to nurse his, erm, injuries...  I've used PetPlan's "pet care and advice" section a few times, it has really good knowledgable insight into things first-time owners might need to know. Check it out here

Ooh, also, they did a Pet Census, which is worth a look here (although I'm shocked that 60% of owners wouldn't buy their dogs a birthday present - I am firmly in the 40%).

links to products = dress / shoes / Lopez's collar

As a serious point, if you are investigating getting a dog you need to get insurance. It infuriates me that it's even an option not to do so. Lopez has been with PetPlan for 7 years, I moved him over to them after a poor experience elsewhere. Quite frankly if I didn't have the plan I do Lopez wouldn't be with me. As followers of my Instagram know, he's had a couple of close calls and it's been the insurance policy thats made his treatment possible. Explore PetPlan's options here

links to products = dress / shoes / Lopez's collar

Now, the embarrassing parent bit; I really love my dog. Like really love my dog. What he has given me in terms of love, fun, happiness... Well lets just say it massive outweighs the puppy-accidents and odd tantrums in the park over it being home time. He is such a character, terriers have incredibly strong personalities. I know exactly how he'll react to every situation, he completely has me around his little finger. As an example if I say "sit" he'll look at me, check whether or not sitting is worthwhile (ie: do I have butcher cut ham, or some kind of premium, flaked salmon) and will make a decision on whether or not to do as I ask. It isn't a case of him living with me, I live with him and pay for everything as a way of gratitude for having him choose me...

links to products = dress / shoes / Lopez's collar

In summary there is no doubt in my mind that pet ownership is a brilliant decision for most people. But there are some fundamental (often financially led) decisions you need to consider first. For me it's a non negotiable, and for me PetPlan is a really good option dog insurance wise. Have a look at their plans here

*This is an advertising feature in partnership with Pet Plan Insurance. All thoughts, copy and direction are my own. 

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