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Should You Get A Dog? Questions Pondered If Its The Right Time
Should I Get A Dog?
Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world. They enjoyed this status for a very long time, probably from the time 10,000 to 15,000 years ago when stone age cavemen lived and hunted with dogs.
If you think you want a dog, you are following a well-established tradition.
Why You Might Want a Dog
There are a number of reasons people think they might want a dog for a pet. The most universal is the desire for the companionship of an animal that will be a loyal friend for many years. Others think it would be good to have a guard dog to guard the house, and some people are interested in participating in dog shows, skill tests or other organized activities.
If you are thinking of getting a dog, it is important to determine if you can take care of him properly. Dogs need several things from a pet parent:
In order for your dog to stay healthy, he will need to be fed properly, exercised enough, groomed regularly and taken to the vet for regular check-ups and shots. If you want your dog to be well-behaved and a pleasure to be around, you’ll need to make sure he’s fully socialized and trained, which requires spending many hours with him. Dogs also need set schedules so they know when they will be fed and when they will be let out.
If you are a very busy person who works long hours and travels a lot, dog ownership may not be right for you.
Things to Consider Before You Buy a Dog
Owning a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, but before you even start thinking about what kind of dog you might want, you need to ask yourself some serious questions about how well your lifestyle will fit any dog.
Many people fall in love with a cute puppy at a pet store and bring it home only to face a brutal truth. That beautiful puppy will have to be taken out to calm himself down in the morning. Every single morning. Even weekend mornings. Even if it’s raining or snowing or 100 degrees in the shade. And he will have to go out more than once a day, sometimes several times more than once, especially when he is young.
That’s just the beginning. Here are some other things to seriously consider before taking the plunge into dog ownership:
A bad allergic reaction to dogs in a member of your family can result in you having to find a new home for the dog – a sad experience for everyone. Some individuals are severely allergic and cannot even live in a house where a dog has lived. Others are much less bothered and can make adjustments so they can live comfortably with a pet. An allergy can be to the dog’s saliva, hair or dander. Not all dogs cause the same allergic reaction. Some breeds are known to be less allergenic because they shed very little or none at all. These include the Chinese Crested, which has no hair, and breeds that can vary in size, such as Basenji, Bichon Frise, and Standard Poodle.
What Do You Want in a Dog?
Is your main concern to have a house pet that will be a good companion? Do you want an athletic dog that can keep up with you when you run? Will you be taking your dog on camping trips and will he need to be big enough to carry his own food? Do you want a dog that can be a reliable guard dog and watchdog? Do you want to show the dog? Do you want to participate in agility, obedience or field trials? You’ll want to study the different breeds and then talk to breeders and members of local kennel clubs to find out what traits best fit your expectations.
Can Your Kids Can Your Kids Adjust?
Children love puppies, but both children and puppies need supervision. Children can play too rough with a puppy, and a young child will not understand that the puppy is tired and needs to rest. A puppy that is injured or tired of playing is likely to growl and snap, and sometimes bite, to get the child to leave him alone. An older dog can be a serious threat if he is not used to children. There is one rule that should NEVER be broken: Babies and toddlers should never be left unattended with a dog, no matter how much you trust the dog.
Can Your Other Pets Adjust?
If you already have pets, you will need to consider how the dog will adapt to them and they to him. If you have cats that have never been around a dog, you may have a long adjustment period or the combination may not work at all. Puppies will usually learn to live with cats if care is taken that the initial meeting is not too traumatic. If you are considering an older dog, try to find out how he has reacted to other pets before.
How Much Space Do You Have for a Dog?
This is an important consideration. A large, active dog, such as a retriever or German shepherd can run and play in a large, fenced yard. Often, however, the dog will not play much if you are not available to be with him, and he will simply rest on the grass just as he would if he were inside on his dog bed. Large dogs can be happy even in an apartment if they take a long walk or two every day.
Unless you live in the country and spend a lot of time outside with your dog, he won’t be happy as a strictly outdoor dog. Outside should be for playing and exercising. A dog should never be left outside in hot weather without shade and water or in cold weather without a well-insulated shelter. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, he will need a fenced yard or a large kennel.
Can You Afford A Dog?
Your dog will need to be fed and groomed and provided with toys and treats. You may want to take him to obedience classes. If you travel from time to time for business or you are traveling and cannot take your dog, you will need to arrange to board him or hire a dog sitter who will look after him in your home.
Your dog will need regular veterinary checks, which will include vaccinations, worming and flea and tick prevention. A medical emergency can cost several hundred dollars. As your dog ages, he may develop chronic health conditions that require regular visits to the vet. Vets vary from city to city. If you haven’t owned a pet before, you may want to call around to see what the rates are in your area.
If you don’t have time to groom your dog, don’t have the facilities to properly bathe him, or if he needs special care, you’ll need to pay for a professional groomer. You will also need brushes and combs for grooming.
Dogs must be licensed. Fees are set by the county or the city and vary widely. To find out about licensing, call your county animal control office. Your vet and the local animal shelter will also know where you need to go to purchase a permit.
Exercise and Companionship – Do You Have Time?
Some dogs only need a short walk once or twice a day, while others are built to run all day. Be honest when considering what level of regular exercise will be comfortable for you. If you have a heavy work schedule, walking the dog in the evening can be a burden rather than a pleasure. An active dog that only gets real exercise on weekends and holidays is likely to be unhappy, not to mention bored and destructive. In addition to exercise, your dog needs time with you. If you have a full work schedule and a busy social life, your dog is likely to be lonely, bored and destructive.
Size and Energy Level of the Dog
Before you even think about getting a young, very energetic dog, like a golden retriever, you have to ask yourself if you are strong enough to control and exercise a dog that will want to run and play and that could easily knock you down. an accident Don’t buy a puppy that will become a 150-pound athlete if your energy level is more attuned to walking a poodle.
Is Your Lifestyle Stable?
One common reason dogs are surrendered to animal shelters is that the owner has had to move, and the new residences do not allow pets. Or the owner got married, and the new spouse does not like dogs. Are you likely to move often? Is your family life stable? Does your job require you to travel often or for long periods of time?
Puppy or Old Dog?
Most people automatically think of puppies when they think of getting a dog. While puppies are cute and fun, there are advantages to getting an older dog. It is much easier to warm an older dog. Puppies do not physically have the ability to hold their urine for long and must be voided frequently. You won’t have to wait for an older dog to grow up to see what size he’ll be or what kind of temperament he’ll have, and if you get your dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization, you’ll likely save him. life
The First Steps
If after reading all of this you still want a dog, congratulations! You’re probably eager to take the first step, and you want to run to the pet store, or the breeder, or the shelter, or the rescue organization, but don’t run out and get a dog just yet. It is important that you take the time to read as much as possible about choosing, introducing and keeping a dog. Browse the other articles on our website. Check out books from the public library or visit a bookstore.
Consider what kind of dog you want. Do you want a purebred dog or a mix? Do you want male or female? Do you want a puppy or an older dog? Talk to other dog owners you know. Where did they get their dogs and what was their experience? Where do you want to look for the perfect choice?
Once you decide to get a dog, choose an occasion to bring him home, when you and your family will have time to give him a lot of attention; bringing him home at the beginning of a long weekend or vacation, when you will have more time to spend at home with him, will certainly make the transition to his new home easier for him and his new family. Prepare for his arrival. You will need to know what to expect and how to care for him when he first comes into your life.
If you have carefully chosen your new canine friend and properly prepared for him, bringing him home can be one of the most joyful experiences of your life. He will become part of your family and love you without reservation. Return his love, and he will truly be your best friend.
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