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7 Things To Consider Before You Get a Dog
There are quite a few considerations to take into account before you can determine whether getting a dog will fit your lifestyle. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a hunting dog or a family pet, the responsibility of having a dog is the same and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Often dog owners realize after they have purchased or adopted a dog that it wasn’t the best choice for their lifestyle. If you will simply follow a few unwritten rules beforehand you will be able to start from the beginning with full confidence that you have made the best choice.
Do You Have the Time?
First, and one of the most important considerations to make, is whether or not you will have the time every single day to take care of a dog. Taking care of a dog is a 24 hour 7 day a week responsibility. It may seem that dogs can take care of themselves by chewing or hanging out in a kennel all day but, that is, simply, just not true. Dogs have social needs that must be met in order to prevent them from developing bad habits such as, excessive barking or slipping into a depressed state and causing other health concerns. Having dog is a serious long-term commitment that can last over ten years.
Ask Yourself These Questions and Be Honest
How often do you go out of town? If you have a job where you travel or a lifestyle that keeps you away from home more than at home, then you should consider just what you will do with your dog when you are away. Can you bring your dog with you? Will you have to hire a dog sitter? Will you have the proper amount of time to allow your dog to get the amount of exercise he needs in order to have a long healthy life? If you are a last minute planner and want to remain that way, then would a dog, that you have to figure out what to do with, really be a wise choice?
Wait For The Right Time
If you have young children, it may be best to wait until they are walking on their own or better yet wait until they understand that puppies or dogs are not toys. Many people make the mistake of thinking a dog might be the best playmate for their young child. This is often not a good idea, they make cute pictures but, no matter how sweet or mild mannered a particular breed might be, a dog is still an animal and animals can be unpredictable.
Do you have The Finances To Support A Dog?
The financial obligation doesn’t stop once you have purchased the dog and get his first shots. Dog ownership can get expensive. Things such as travel expenses, food, training devices, fencing, medical care, grooming and toys are just a few things to consider when you are trying to figure out whether you are willing to commit to the financial responsibilities surrounding dog ownership. Make sure you include the possibility of accidents into your budget when planning the expenses.
Other Pets or Animals
Don’t forget to consider your other pets or animals already living with you. Aging dog’s aren’t always delighted to have a puppy crawl all over them. Some older dogs can be stressed out by the presence of an overzealous puppy. Will it cause jealousy? Will it cause aggression or fighting? Will it make your veteran pet have a miserable last few years? It may be exactly what your other pets need but, just make sure you have considered the mixing of certain breeds and how well they might live together.
It is certainly important to consider where your dog would live. Would he live inside or outside of your home? Dogs are typically very social animals and they need to be around you and feel loved. Try determining how much living space your dog will require. If it is a small dog but, is a breed that needs plenty of space to roam then you will need to reconsider if you have a home that does not allow for this. What about shedding? Do you or anyone in your household have allergies that would force your dog to be out of the family loop? There are breeds that don’t shed so check out all the facts before you decide.
Intelligent Shoppers Aren’t Usually Surprised
Basically, there shouldn’t be a whole lot of surprises for you if you do your research thoroughly. A great place to learn about the specific needs of a particular breed is the American Kennel Club. They are a non-profit organization that maintains the world’s largest registry of purebred dogs. The AKC offers an abundance of information that can help you determine if a particular breed might work for your home environment. The AKC also has other breed characteristics that include personality and trainability. After you have considered all the responsibilities and determined that dog ownership is a perfect fit for you then you can begin to enjoy the search for one of the best friends you will ever have.