Before even considering getting a dog, ask yourself, should I get a dog?
Maybe the children want a cute puppy, and they will not take no for an answer. Are you lonely and want companionship?. Are you looking for a guard dog? Be honest with yourself as to the real reason you want one. Think about what type is right for you and will fit comfortably into your lifestyle. Ask yourself the following five questions before you choose.
1. Can you afford a dog?
Here are some facts on the cost of owning a dog. Besides the actual cost of buying one, there are some essential dog supplies you will have to get before bringing him home. You will need water and food bowls, a crate for him to sleep in, dog collar and leash, toys to keep him occupied, treats, and a grooming kit to name a few. There will be the regular recurring costs of food, pet insurance, worming, and annual visits to the veterinarian for vaccinations and health checks. You may have to pay someone to care for him while you are on holidays.
2. Do you have the time?
A dog is a full-time commitment, seven days a week, and the main thing he needs from you is time. You must walk him no matter what the weather is like, dry, wet, hot, or cold. You will need to bathe and groom your dog properly. If you get a puppy, then quite a lot of time will be involved training him, particularly puppy potty training. You may have to get up earlier in the mornings to take your dog out to relieve itself and exercise. If he has left alone all day, you will have to try to get back home to him or arrange for a dog walker, family member or friend to take him out for a walk. An energetic type needs lots of exercises or can resort to destructive or bad behavior if there is no release for all that energy. You need to spend time interacting with your dog to help form a good bond with him. You have to play with him, train him and enjoy your dog.
3. Will you choose a puppy or an adult?
A puppy can be hard work. It is very time consuming and needs lots of attention while growing. Puppies need to play, eat, and relieve themselves a lot. However, you get enormous pleasure watching your puppy grow and hopefully into a well-trained dog. It is easier to bond with a puppy. An adult dog eats fewer meals and can hold it’s bladder for longer. It will probably be house trained. You will know very little about its history. Older dogs take time to settle in so you will need to spend a lot of time with him to strengthen a bond between you. If he is an energetic adolescent, you will have your hands full. A lot of adolescent dogs end up in dog shelters as their owners cannot manage them and are no longer interested in keeping him once it has grown out of the cute puppy stage.
4. Big or small, male or female?
Small dogs eat less so they are cheaper to feed, and they take up less space. A big dog may not be the right choice if you have small children or an elderly relative in the house as they can be easily knocked over. You must research the breed you are interested in getting for its exercise needs and temperament. Males tend to be bigger than females. They are more likely to be territorial and wander more, looking for a mate. Neutering can lessen this tendency. Females can be very affectionate. They will come into season twice a year which will attract a lot of male dogs in your area. Getting a female spayed cures that problem and stops the risk of unwanted puppies. If you are thinking of buying a dog, then visit a puppy breeder and ask lots of questions about the puppy and its parents. Visit a few times before you make a final decision. You can usually get a shelter dog for free, but there might be a small charge to cover the cost of vaccinations.
5. Where can you buy a dog?
A pet store is not the right place to buy a dog. They are usually bred in deplorable conditions in puppy mills. These unfortunate animals can suffer from mental and physical health problems from neglect and cruelty. Dog shelters are great places to look for a dog, and it will have lots of different ages, sizes, and colors to choose from. The staff will be more than happy to help you pick the right one for you and your lifestyle.
There is no doubt a dog can bring lots of pleasure and fun to your life for many years. It can add richness to your life in a way money never can. A dog is forgiving and loves you no matter what. In return, treat your dog with kindness, train him/her well and provide a caring home.