Saturday, March 10, 2012

A few thoughts to ponder prior to getting a dog

A dog can be a very welcome addition to a family; however, there is also a certain amount of responsibility that comes along with becoming a dog owner. You want to be fair to both yourself and your dog, so it's important to really make sure you are ready for the commitment of being a pet parent.

Consider the time, money and lifestyle commitments that having a dog requires. You need to make sure that are going to have the time and patience to exercise and train your dog properly. Make sure you are going to have time to spend with your dog and to love them the way that they deserve.

Proper exercise and stimulation are essential to your dog's well being. Early and proper training helps your dog become a valued and loved member of your family. Regular grooming is also very important in keeping your dog clean and healthy. Make sure you are ready for all the responsibility that comes along with adding a dog to your family. Even if your children promise to help you perform these tasks and take care of the pet, as the adult, the ultimate responsibility is going to fall on you. I definately know this one first hand LOL. I have had my dog for 10 years. My daughter was three when I got her, so my daughter really wanted the dog but was too young to promise to help take care of her :-) so I accept that responsibility. Of course, I have shared 10 wonderful years with my little yorkie and wouldn't trade her for the world. About 5 years ago (when my daughter was 8), she begged me and begged me to get a cat. She promised that she would feed it, take care of the litter box etc so I got the cat (also a very loved member of the family :-) but I will say that the times that she has cleaned the litter box has been few and far in between. I am the one scooping it daily, cleaning it, feeding it etc. Don't get me wrong, my animals know who takes care of them. They love me the most in the house LOL. They are commitments of my time, money, patience and they do add daily chores to my chore list. I just ask people to consider this before going off and getting a pet. It's not fair to the animal to get them if you are going to be unable to provide for them financially and emotionally.

Also, consider what type of dog will fit your family best. Would a puppy, adolescent or older dog be more suited for you? Puppies under 6 months old require a lot of time, effort and patience. Adolescent dogs (between 6 and 18 months old) are full of energy and will test the boundaries and your patience. An older dog may already be housetrained, socialized and trained in basic training commands.