Here are some points to take into consideration when choosing the right dog for your home.
- Owning a pet is a costly venture because whatever you think you are going to spend, double it. Maybe even triple it. The Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association has reported that over 57% of Canadian households own pets with spending costs rising from 6.6 billion to 8.8 billion annually. What do these costs include? Well, besides the basic food costs, annual vaccinations and licensing costs there are so many more expenses to factor in. Your pup may need an unexpected visit to the veterinarian for a sudden illness accompanied by a slew of required medications or a teeth cleaning along with extractions. Then there are the obedience costs, supply costs and so on.
- Another point to consider is the grooming costs. There is no denying that all puppies are cute. But puppies grow up. You need to ask yourself if you are prepared to deal with the regular bathing, nail trims and excess fur. Dogs shed no matter what breed. There will be fur on your clothes, furniture, food, etc. If fur around your home bothers you, then you need to consider the right type of breed. Do you have time to spend brushing out your furbaby on a daily basis to prevent mats and tangles? These are all traits that you need to consider carefully. Again, many owners come into our shop frustrated with the amount of fur their dog is losing or the mess in their dogs fur because they had no idea the time that was required to maintain them. You may want to consider adopting a dog with short fur or a breed with a very low shedding coat.
- Have you considered the energy level of your new pet? Most breeds require different exercise routines. Some may only need a short 20 minute walk and some may need a good two hour walk and still be wanting to run. While you are out all day running errands, at work or school, your dog is at home patiently sleeping and storing up energy they need to burn off the minute you step through the door. So if you have a demanding schedule that leaves little time for walks and playing fetch, you will seriously want to consider the dogs’ energy level before adopting.
- Are you ready for sleepless nights? Don’t kid yourself, you will be sleep deprived. Yes, puppies and senior dogs will need to do their business no matter what time of day or night it is. This can be exhausting especially if you have children that demand your attention at all hours. This can cause some family drama if it is not clear who is responsible for Fido going out to relieve himself. Pet responsibilities should be considered and discussed with all family members prior to bringing your pup home.
- Thinking about a weekend getaway, a spontaneous trip or even a late evening after work? Well, this will be more difficult as you have a family member that requires 24 hour care. Unless you want to come home to a mess on your floor because Fido couldn’t hold it in anymore, you need to plan your day carefully. A responsible adult will need to look after your pooch if you will be going away for an extended period. If you need to check your dog into a kennel, this will be an additional expense ranging from $25 and up per day.
- Do you have a nice home, expensive shoes, fancy furniture, perhaps a beautiful hardwood floor? Are you ok with any of these being chewed on, defecated on or scratched? Honestly, you will need to be ok with this because it is going to happen. A puppy’s natural instinct is to chew and unless their nails are trimmed regularly, they are going to scratch your floors. Pets have accidents, the same as a child learning to potty train. This is part of owning a dog.
- Dogs are social animals and thrive on love and affection just like humans. They cannot be put in a kennel and turn off the switch when you are done for the day. Your dog will want to be with their family at all times. Are you ready to add a furry family member?
- Are your neighbors going to be ok with a dog who barks all day because they are bored or hear noises from outside? Some dogs are prone to being more vocal and “yappy”. This is another consideration that needs be factored in.
These points are not listed to discourage anyone from adopting a dog. They are there to help educate those who are considering adopting a dog and enlighten individuals on factors they may not have considered. Bottom line is, don’t get a dog without putting some serious thought into it first. Do your research. Owning a dog is truly an amazing experience. Dogs are loyal and always happy to see you at the end of the day. Visit your local shelter or rescue and get information. Sign up to be a foster parent so you can experience being a dog owner and help save a life.