Categorized | Dog, Tips

Five Of The Most Important Things To Learn Before Getting a Dog

In the 1950’s, there was a popular song titled “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”. This song could be the poster child for how not to get a dog. The puppy in the window is wiggly and cuddly, but a dog should never be acquired on impulse.

1. Why do you want a dog?
The right dog will be a loyal friend, companion and trusted member of the family. Don’t get a dog because the kids promise to take care of it. Giving dog care responsibility to kids usually results in family arguments. Wanting a dog for protection requires considerable thought. Most dogs are naturally protective, but owning an aggressive, untrained dog is asking for trouble. Consider a dog that barks to warn of strangers, but won’t attack.

Getting a Dog

2. Do you have the time, energy and resources?
A dog left alone all day will probably develop bad habits and get into trouble. Dogs need regular exercise. Dog Leashes, harnesses and collars must fit properly. Dogs are expensive. Vet bills, food and grooming are normal expenses. Unexpected costs can be steep. There is no such thing as a ‘free dog’.

3. Who will be the primary caretaker?
Decide in advance. If kids will also be involved, assign specific duties such as daily walks. Be flexible when schedules change, but don’t forget the dog’s needs.

4. What breed is best?
Consider traits like shedding, required grooming and intelligence. Larger dogs are better choices with small children; small dogs can be hurt and become defensive. Small dogs may be ideal for the elderly or people living in apartments. Research breed characteristics. Older dogs are usually housebroken and calmer.

5. Where is the best place to get a dog?
Rescue organizations accept dogs from owners who could not care for them. Dogs receive veterinary care and are evaluated on temperament and such factors as how well they get along with small children and other animals. If getting a breeder’s dog, seeing the parents gives insight into the puppy’s temperament. Many people like the idea of saving a shelter dog, but the dog’s habits and personality are unknown. Humane Societies have dogs waiting for adoption and volunteers may be familiar with the dog.

Dogs are wonderful companions for lonely people and playmates for children. They are unfailingly loyal. It’s worthwhile spending the time to find the perfect dog for you.

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