Are You a Potential Responsible Dog Owner?
Want to get a dog? Here is some basic information on being an excellent dog owner. I know that many people go into dog ownership without thinking about the amount of time and effort it takes to be a responsible dog owner, because the shelters and pounds are full of unwanted animals that have been abandoned. So before you decide to buy or adopt a dog, take a moment to think the about the commitment needed before you adopt a puppy or an older dog.
If you are looking for a checklist of items to buy at the store before your new pet comes to your home, you are in for a surprise. This article is about what it really takes to care for a dog beyond food and shelter. Dogs are a commitment for the lifetime of the animal. That means that you could be responsible for this animal for anywhere from 8-20 years, depending on the dog’s breed. Look up the breed on the Internet to get an idea of the average age of the breed in which you are interested. If you have any serious concerns about any of the issues in this article, don’t get a dog.
Dogs are pack animals. Therefore, you and your family become their pack if you adopt a dog. You need to plan on making your dog an important part of the family. Your dog will need food, exercise, and attention to thrive. Also, they need to be with the people and other pets in the home, not outside on a chain or yard all day long with no company. If you are buying or adopting your dog for companionship, you are on the right track. If you tend to think that your dog is another child for you to care for, you are thinking correctly, as well.
If you don’t know what kind of dog to adopt, look up dog breeds online or in a book you can borrow from the local library. Each dog breed has certain characteristics that a smart dog owner will become familiar with before they choose a dog. Some of these characteristics might be obvious, and some are not so obvious. For instance, if you live in an apartment, it is not fair to expect a large working dog to live in a confined space such as an apartment. If you choose a dog breed that is territorial, they will want to protect you or your property whether or not you really need to be protected. This type of dog will need to be socialized carefully, which will take some extra effort and awareness on your part. Many small dogs need to be protected from small children and from big dogs. This job becomes trickier when your small dog thinks it is a big dog. Fair warning! My Affenpinscher is a 15 pound dog who is convinced she’s a German Shepherd, and is very protective of my family. Know your dog breed before you adopt.
You may also consider choosing a dog that is smart and very easy to train. But generally speaking, most of the breeds of dogs are intelligent so you wont have a hard time teaching your pet some tricks. To help you out in training, you can check some barx buddy reviews.
If you move frequently or are in an unstable job situation, you may want to wait until later to adopt a dog. If you don’t like dogs barking, don’t adopt a dog. All dogs tend to bark, even the so-called “barkless” dogs. Dogs bark. If you don’t like barking, don’t get a dog. You will have to clean up after your dog. If you are grossed out by pooper scooping, you can either hire someone to do it or decide not to have a dog. Dogs will cause you more housework and cleaning.
If you are elderly or have a serious illness, who will care for your dog if you die or are no longer able to care for it? While dogs can be therapeutic for the elderly or for chronically ill people, it is important to consider the animal’s welfare as well. On the other hand, a dedicated and committed dog owner will make sure that their hairy friend gets lots of attention and exercise even if they live in a small home.
If you think that you’ll get a dog to teach your children responsibility, think again. You will be responsible for caring for both the dog and the child. You personally must be able to commit to making sure that your dog is cared for properly, even if the kids are supposed to be taking care of the animal. If you have small children or someone with time consuming special needs in the family, you will want to wait to adopt a dog, or any pet, for that matter. Also, children need to be monitored when they are with any animal, and a dog is no exception. A small child may hurt their pet without meaning to. Or a dog might feel threatened by the actions of a small child and bite out of self defense.
Can you afford vet bills? While your dog may be perfectly healthy for its entire life, any dog can have an accident or become ill. Pet insurance and regular check-ups are a great way to keep your canine best friend healthy and happy for a long lifetime. But vets don’t work for free, and accidents do happen. You don’t want your dog to suffer or be ill because you can’t afford to have basic annual check-ups and vaccinations for your pet. Your pet’s health is your responsibility. If you are already under financial stress, wait till you are in a better financial condition before you adopt any pet. You don’t have to be rich to own a dog, but you do need to be able to afford to take care of your animal if it becomes ill or injured.
For the animal’s protection, a fenced yard is the best situation for your dog to get some fresh air and exercise. There are ways around the fenced yard, but there is really no good substitute for a properly fenced yard when owning a dog. They can get some fresh air and sunshine and play outside in a fenced yard. But even in a good fenced yard, dogs need to be watched. They may find a great escape hole in the fence, or you may have some rotten neighbors who like to pester your pet. So don’t expect to put your dog outside and forget about him or her. And don’t even think about putting your dog outside on a chain. But that’s another article entirely.
And finally, what will you do when your canine best friend becomes elderly? In the best circumstances, your dog will live to a ripe old age, and die quietly in his or her sleep. Not all dogs die quietly in their sleep. Elderly dog have the same type of health issues that any elderly person would have. Old age is not a disease for people, nor is it one for your dog. How will you know that it’s time to say goodbye to your old friend Fido? And what will you do with the body when it’s time for him to go?
This article may sound like I am trying to discourage people from adopting dogs. That is not entirely true. But I am trying my best to make sure that if you adopt a dog, you make the best decision possible, both for yourself and for the life of an innocent dog.