Most people are delighted at the prospect of having their own canine companion, and why not, dogs are amazing creatures to have. Unfortunately owning a dog is a huge responsibility, one only some handle properly. At the end of the day, dogs are not meant for everyone. There are a number of factors to consider before getting yourself a dog, some of which are listed below;
- The Reason Behind the Decision: People get dogs for various reasons, you need to ask yourself why you want a dog in the first place. You have to decide if what you are looking for is a watch/guard dog for home security or personal protection, a family dog or a personal pet.
- Your Pocket Size: This is the part where you access your financial position. It’s a given that some dog breeds are easier to maintain and manage than others, however, all dogs require accessories (leashes, collars, bowls, harnesses etc), food and health care. Maintaining a dog’s health can be particularly expensive, from dealing with simple things like ticks and fleas to complicated surgical procedures.
- Time: Time is key, there is really no point getting a dog if you won’t invest your time in caring and training the dog.
- Space: Do you have enough space to accommodate a dog? Is your place of residence dog-friendly? In Nigeria, we are fond of locking dogs up in cages all day (and even all night) long. Keeping your dogs in a cage for very long hours is not healthy both mentally and physically.
What to Look Out For When Selecting a Breed
When choosing a dog do not generalize based on the dog’s breed, but consider the characteristic of the breed.
- Breed Size: The breed type you are considering has to be in alignment with the current space you have. If you live in a flat with no yard or outdoor space, then it’s more appropriate to get a small breed dog like a Lhasa Apso or Pug.
- Fur: This might seem like a minor factor to consider, but having lived with a Lhasa Apso I know that it can be a tedious task not only grooming them but also taking care of stray hair that sheds every now and then. If you know you have got little time for upkeep and grooming then you should consider dogs with short coats.
- Energy Level: It is usually better to choose dogs whose energy level is equal of lower than your own. Some breeds have higher energy levels than others; generally speaking Boerboels, German Shepherds, and Labradors tend to have high energy levels, while breeds like the American Bulldog and Chow Chow have lower energy levels. A dog whose energy is high will require more exercise and engagement than a dog with low energy.
Do Not Get a Dog If….
- You will neglect or ignore the dog’s physical health
- You have no clue and you are unwilling to learn about a dog’s mental and emotional needs.
- You don’t intend to train the dog
- You travel a lot and won’t have time for the dog
Are you considering getting a dog or did you recently get one? Share your story with us in the comment section below.
Photo Credit: http://www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/