Nearly everyone considers a dog as a pet at some point. Even if you're a dog lover, taking one home to be part of the family is a big responsibility. In return for the companionship, comfort, and affection a dog provides, you're facing 8 to 15 years of providing food and veterinary care. Here are some of the things to consider before getting a dog.
Canines are social animals, and they'll be miserable if they're left chained up in the yard day and night. Your dog needs your attention just as human children do, if not more so. If you or your family can't spend several hours a day with a dog, you probably shouldn't get one. Lonely dogs tend to act up with excessive barking or chewing.
You'll probably want to keep them supplied with both dry and canned food, treats, toys, and more. Large breeds can eat quite a lot. There's also veterinary care—make sure you have access to a good vet that's well-equipped. If you plan on breeding your dog, you’re going to want to make sure that the vet has high quality ultrasounds, like those from Keebovet. Most communities also require annual dog licenses and regular rabies shots. If any of this sounds too expensive for you, a dog might not be a good idea.
You May Be a Dog Person If…
- - You're willing and able to take care of a dog for 15 years and perhaps even longer.
- - You can live with a companion who sheds, chews, barks, drools, and tracks in dirt.
- - You like the idea of a pet that will love you unconditionally and needs to spend time with you.
- - You don't mind having to attend to their every need
Picking a Dog
Picking the right dog depends on your lifestyle and surroundings. Sporting dogs that are bred to run won't like apartment life and need a lot of activity. Dogs are natural hunters, so if you have other pets, you'll need one that's okay with small animals. Some dogs love to dig or chew. Smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger ones. Puppies need to be taught proper behavior, and many have poor bladder control. If you're considering a certain breed, do your research on typical behaviors and health issues.
Bringing a dog into your home can involve several challenges. Allow for a period of adjustment. If you properly train them, take care of them, and love them, dogs can be the perfect companions.