Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are You Ready For A Dog?

A dog relies on you for everything, from his food, water, shelter, exercise, grooming, his companionship, training, veterinary care and protection. Know what you are getting into. Are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog? That is about how long your dog will live.

Can you afford the added expense of a dog? When you get a dog, it is a life long commitment, and should not be treated like a piece of furniture that you can just "get rid of" when you get tired of it. After all, this dog will be part of your family.

The decision to get a dog needs to be carefully thought out. Do you honestly have the time to take care of a dog? Is anyone in your family allergic to dog hair? Are you bothered by hair on everything from your clothes to your toast? Some breeds are heavy shedders, while others hardly shed at all.

Do you have children? Are you going to have children in the next 10-15 years? Do you have friends who visit your home who have children? Some dogs are excellent with children and would be their best friend. Some are only good with children when they are raised with them from puppyhood, while others are very sensitive and may bite your child if they are pestered by him or her.

Do you mind holes being dug in your yard? Some dogs like to dig, while others are less likely to dig. Do you mind hearing a dog bark all the time? Some dogs love to bark and do it all the time, while others are more quiet, barking only when necessary.

Do you have time to exercise your dog? Some dogs need daily vigorous exercise and you would need to take them out every day for a run and a nice long walk, while others will get enough exercise with a shorter walk and by running around the inside of your house.

Some dogs need a job to do or they will become restless, bored, very destructive and unruly. Some can be highly obedience trained, while others cannot.

All breeds of dogs are different, and all families are different. Find a dog that fits well into your family, so you and your dog can live in harmony.