Owning a dog, or any pet, even a goldfish is a major commitment and should never be taken on lightly. Every dog deserves a loving home, but does every person deserve a dog?
A few points to think about before getting a dog….
Do you like your house to be immaculate?
Dogs are messy, they get dirty, wet dog smell is not pleasant, they poo and wee, they shed, they
get fleas, they get destructive, and they love you a lot. If you cannot cope with the mess and smell, you should not have a dog!
2. Do you have enough time, or home enough to have one?
Dogs need training; this is time consuming and can be expensive. Dogs tie you down and obstruct travelling. Even if you travel with your dog, there are many places that you are not allowed a dog, and unless you are parked in a underground car park, you should never leave your dog in a car. Dogs must be walked a minimum of three times daily. They should be left alone no more than five hours, if you are away from them for longer, you must get someone in to take the dog out for a walk. Neighbours may say they will do this, but the commitment is great, and often wanes over time, so if you cannot afford to get a professional in to take them on a walk, think twice.
3. You love cute puppies, but adult dogs….?
Dogs are cute, cuddly puppies for two minutes, most of their life may be having accidents, and this is at the start and the end of their life, being destructive, not so cute, will you still want them when they are a naughty adult or old and infirm or will you dump them at a shelter?
4. Someone in your house has pet allergies
If there is a chance the dog may set off allergies, do not get them. Moderate allergies can sometimes be controlled by creating a pet free room, such as a bedroom, but not always. Maybe advertise your services as a pet sitter or walking a friend’s dog to get your pooch fix instead.
5. You are not financially or emotionally ready
Dogs are expensive, monetary and emotionally. Their need for food, attention and healthcare will be a constant throughout their life, possibly getting greater as they get older.
6. Your child wants a dog
This week your child wants a dog, next week they want the latest gadget! You are the adult; you will be the one that has to care for it and if you do not want one, do not get one!
7. You like to push snooze on the alarm clock
Good morning, good morning, it’s time to get up early and take them for a walk before the day begins! When it is cold and wet and the middle of the night, but they are crying because they need the toilet you must get up!
8. You need to fix your relationship or your spouse wants a dog but you don’t
Like children, dogs should be welcomed into the family with open arms. They need to be wanted and adored; they will be costly and take up your time. They will increase the level of responsibility and may cause arguments over who is walking or feeding the dog. They may mean you have less time for each other and cause jealousy. I would not be happy if my partner did not love my dog more than me!
9. You cannot cope with death
Dogs live from roughly 6 to 20 years. The smaller, cross breeds tend to live longer. Giant breeds live the shortest life. But death is coming to us all. You watch them grow old, see them remain a puppy at heart but get so tired, and one day they will be gone. And it never gets easier. If you cannot cope with old age and death, do not get a pet!
10. They are an eternal child
They are emotional and loving. Having one is like having a 3 year old for the rest of their life. They will not understand what you are saying, they will not be reasoned with, they will make a mess without any regards for the consequences. BUT unlike a human child, they have predator instincts and defence mechanisms that you will have to manage. You will have to be their leader, not their parent. Failure to become their leader can result in a dog that is psychologically damaged, out of control, aggressive or fearful. Your dog will love and cherish you, and does not deserve the pain and grief of being abandoned by someone who did not do a good job of leading them!