When you decide you want to share your life with a dog, there are some ideas you must have present. If you do it, you may be sure that you will have lots of fun and find out that dogs are great companions and loving animals. It is a long lasting commitment, so it is extremely important that you keep in mind several thing before you make your decision. Are you available to take care of a dog for his or her lifetime?
Here are some points you should consider before opening your house (and your heart) to a new furry friend:
Be aware that dogs have feelings. If you regret your decision, the dog will suffer a lot. This must be a conscious decision. You should ponder all the changes that might happen. For instance, you must ask your family what do they think about it. You must not forget that an animal needs medical care, attention and some of your time (your dog will need to for a walk and depending on his size or breed he will need more or less exercise). Dogs needs’ require our time and often some money. Are you prepared for that? Face this like a long-lasting responsibility that will also bring you lots of joy.
Your life with a dog
Your future dog must fit your life standards. If you enjoy adventure and travel, you must pick a dog that may be with you everywhere. An animal that enjoys the beach and exercise would be the best choice. If you are lazy, maybe a senior dog could be a good bet. Don’t forget that depending on the dog’s age you are going to bring home a new friend that will live maybe 10 or 15 years with you (perhaps more). Think about your daily routine and try to include the dog on it. If you work a lot, do you have someone who can take care of the dog? Make sure there is no problem to have a dog in your condo or that there are no allergic people in your family. Can you provide a safe place to the dog and simultaneously assure that your family is also in safety, specially your kids? Try to choose a dog with whom your children can safely play.
Do you have other pets? Are they territorial animals? How do you think they will react when the new family member comes? You may ask a Veterinarian which is the best way to do make all of your pets get along. And do your house have the needed space to a dog?
Who is in charge?
You and your family will have to spend some of your time training your dog. You are responsible for defining the rules your dog should follow. Your dog must recognize your authority and you must teach him to have a good behavior. It is also strongly recommended that you make some rules to the human house members too. It is important to decide as soon as possible who will take the dog for a walk and when, who will train him (it would be good if all the family could take part of it) among other responsibilities.
A dog will be a loving friend and a great companion. Before you decide to bring a dog to your house, keep in mind that the animal will need a good quality food (this is very important to the animal’s health), vaccinations and other medical exams, some toys, a good collar, a leash to take the dog for a walk, bowls for water and food, dog shampoo, a proper bed, a comb and a brush, among other items or expenses. Some breeds tend to be genetically predisposed to develop some diseases that lead to more frequent visits to the Vet. You should seek information about veterinary hospitals near your home too.
When the dog is alone
We typically spend a lot of time outside. A dog who spend time alone frequently develop separation anxiety. This means that when nobody is at home the dog will probably bark, howl and destroy things like your furniture, your clothes and other stuff. So, it is extremely important to learn and practice methods to avoid this. You can try to give your pet an old shirt that you no longer use. It may comfort him when you are not present.
Ready to go!
Now that you have sought enough information and you are sure you can bring a dog home and provide him a happy and healthy life, you certainly know several things about training, daily care, most frequent diseases and how to avoid them, and so on. You are ready to pick up your new friend.
There are several places where you can choose a dog. The better place is undoubtedly your local shelter. Due to overpopulation and over-breeding, there are millions of dogs that are abandoned and left to die in shelters. Adopting a dog is an excellent way to contribute to the end of this tragedy. Always consider to adopt a dog. Let go the prejudices against mixed bred dogs. They are wonderful friends too.
The story goes on…
Now you have a new friend at home! It is impossible to predict the future, therefore these are just some indications about what is most important to consider when you’ve decided you want a dog. It requires that you reorganize your time, as well as that you do some efforts to train your pet. It requires also lots of dedication. But it is a very rewarding experience. Dogs can be wonderful friends and their love is unconditional. Without saying a word, they comfort us, teach us precious lessons and take care of us. Have you ever noticed how dogs’ eyes shine when they see the ones they love? It’s definitely valuable.