Dogs are such excellent family pets. They are lovable, they are cuddly, and most importantly, they are loyal. They are excellent teachers for children of all ages, and their unconditional love for you can help you through even the worst parts of your life. For families, dogs become another child. Each breed of dog has its own personality, and its training will reflect in its behavior. That is why when you are considering getting a dog, you need to know everything you can so that you can not only choose the right dog for you, but so that you can effectively take care of him. To help you transition from wanting a dog to getting a dog, read this guide:
If You Are Considering Getting a Dog
If you are still on the fence about getting a dog, you should know that there are a few benefits and cons that may sway you. If you are convinced after reading this second, continue on!
Dogs provide a lot of benefits to singles, couples, and families alike. They are loving, judgemental, and most importantly they need to be outside. This means that even those with depression or anxiety can benefit immensely from owning a dog. You need to take him outside, and as a result the both of you will get the exercise you need. Dog owners typically have lower blood pressure and stress, and this is due to the combined power of the daily exercise and simply the fact that petting a dog can lower your heartrate. They are also excellent for your mental health.
Dogs can teach children social skills, can teach them responsibility, and can also help them combat social anxieties. Dogs are wonderful teachers, companions, and playmates for children. You just need to make sure that your child isn’t allergic to him, though studies have found that infants who live with a dog in the house are less likely to develop allergies at all.
As many benefits and love that dogs can give us, however, they are still huge responsibilities. They also cost a lot in order to keep healthy. If you are always traveling and going from place to place, getting a dog can be a huge burden. It also isn’t fair to the animal. The same applies to if you live in the city and lead incredibly busy lives. You will either neglect your new dog, or you’ll have to pay for someone to take care of him.
Know Your Limits
Wanting a dog and being responsible are two different things. You need to know your limits to decide whether you should get a dog at all, or what breed to get. Most small dogs are great for apartment living, but not all. West Highland West terriers, for instance, are small and cute, but they were bred for hunting and need a lot of exercise in order to be happy. To help you choose the breed that’s right for you, you first need to know these answers about yourself:
1. Where Do You Live?
If you live in the country, and have a lot of space for your dog to run and play in, then you can choose whatever sized dog you would like. Larger dogs, typically, should be chosen by experienced dog owners, but you can get one if you are ready for the challenge. Read Canine Weekly for all the tips and advice you will need, and you’ll be ready to bring in your big baby into the family. If you live in the city, and have a small apartment, then opt for a small dog bred for that purpose. Remember to do your research! The more you know about the breed’s behavior the better.
Note: This also applies to mixed dogs. Know the breed personality and behaviors of each dog, and then extrapolate from there. Mixed breed dogs have many benefits from less health concerns to lower upfront costs, but they can be a mixed bag when it comes to behaviors.
2. How Much Time Do You Have?
When you get a dog, your whole family should be on board. That way you can take care of your new family member regardless of whether you’re a single mother, or both you and your partner work full time. Set out different tasks between you and your children. This can be difficult, however, if your children are very young. If they are young, ensure you have the time to take care of your new dog. Otherwise, it might be better to wait for them to get older.
3. Do You Have the Finances?
The thing with dogs is that you love them, which means when something bad happens to them or they get sick, you’ll want to give them all the help you can give them. That is why you should have savings put away specifically for any emergency vet visits you might go through. Dogs also require shots and vaccinations from your vet from the start, so make sure you budget appropriately. If you cannot afford to bring a dog in to the family, as they have food and vet requirements, hold off.
Choosing the Breed That is Right for You
Now that you have a clearer idea of what kind of dog you can get, based on your lifestyle and financial situation, it’s time to choose the breed that is right for you. There are many quizzes and online forums to help you choose the right breed. Once you have, it’s time to find your perfect new family member! You can rescue a dog from the shelter – including puppies, who are abandoned after Christmas – or you can find a local breeder. Ensure that the breeder you choose cares about his dogs, otherwise you are perpetuating cruelty.
The more effort you put in to making a routine, training, exercising, and loving your new family member, the happier everyone will be. Dogs bring life to every family, and soon you’ll wonder what life was like before.