Dogs are the most popular pet in the world, and for good reason. There are few things in life that compare to the joy and pleasure of owning a well-behaved and lovable dog.
The love and affection shown by a dog is extraordinary because it has no reservations and no limits. A dog’s main goal in life is to please its master(s) and a dog is never embarrassed or ashamed to show how it feels. They exhibit extraordinary loyalty to their masters, even defending them to the death if necessary. Dogs have been known to spend weeks or months grieving or even die from grief when their master is taken from them.
This bond between a dog and its master(s) is not automatic. There are many things that have to fall into place before such a relationship can develop. For one, you as an owner must be willing to take the necessary steps to create an atmosphere where the bonding can develop. Second, you must choose a dog that has the proper temperament to develop in the home you are providing.
Here are some questions to consider when acquiring that first dog:
Do you want a puppy or a more mature dog? A puppy is cute and cuddly, but also requires a lot of training and has to be monitored constantly. A grown dog, such as a rescue dog or one obtained from an acquaintance, will probably have some of the training already done, such as potty training and some rudimentary commands. Puppies have very sharp teeth and love to play, which always involves some nipping, so having a puppy around a small child may not be advisable. A more mature dog might be a better choice, provided it has a gentle temperament.
What size dog do you want when it is fully grown? A Saint Bernard would be a poor choice if you live in a small house with almost no yard. The size of the dog needs to be considered if you will be taking the dog in your automobile. The cost of feeding a large dog must be considered, as well as the nuisance of cleaning up the “gifts” left in the yard (or the neighbor’s yard). However, a large dog is more durable and less prone to injury than small ones.
Are you willing to spend the amount of money required to keep a dog healthy and happy? Vet bills, toys, dog house, food and water bowls, treats, car seat covers, “pooper scoopers”, and various other pet accessories online all have to be considered. You can spend a lot of money on frivolous items, or just cover the basics. In either case, a dog costs more money than you might think. But, if you are not willing or able to spend what is necessary, then you should not own a dog!
What breed of dog do you want? Are you visualizing a “macho” type dog such as a Rotwieler or Doberman or do you want a gentle, lovable type such as a Golden Retriever? Some breeds need a lot of exercise while others require very little. Another consideration when choosing a breed is shedding. A large dog that sheds heavily can require daily vacuuming of both the house and car. Allergies to dog hair and dander should also be considered.
Do you want a house dog or an outdoor dog? Many breeds can adapt to either, but some are exclusively house dogs, such as many of the toy breeds. If you want an outdoor dog, consider the climate where you live and choose a breed that can adapt to both summer and winter temperature extremes. If you want a house dog, choose a breed that has a more sedate nature to minimize the potential problems of having your dog indoors.
Do you have an adequate retention system in your yard? Dogs are very versatile and inventive when they really want to get out of a yard. You should have an adequate fencing system to keep the dog from wandering. Pet Accessories Online is an easy, convenient source of all kinds of fencing and other types of control systems. Tying a dog up for long periods of time is both cruel and dangerous and should not be used as the sole method of control.
There are many other considerations to think about when getting that first dog, but answering the preceding questions will help get you on the right track.
REMEMBER – Your dog should be your companion and friend and will require lots of attention. Don’t treat your dog as merely a source of entertainment when you happen to be in the mood. If you are going to put your dog in a pen or run and take it out once a week or so for a few minutes of exercise, you shouldn’t have a dog!