I look at my confusion regarding owning a dog positively. 🙂 My confusion indicates that I want to see a puppy in the family, but I am concerned if I will be able to take good care of the new pet-member. If you have the same confusion, please do not feel ashamed. Just do some research and figure out if your family is ready for a dog. The following discussion will help, I believe.
The Youtube video below provides a gist of this article.
Should I get a dog for my family?
I liked the article Chris Jordan wrote at Alpha Mom highly advocating getting a dog for the family. While getting a puppy is really a cute and lovely thing to do, there are many things to consider before deciding to bring a puppy to the family.
Age of kids in the family
Many parents dream that their kids will grow up with pets, especially puppies, around. Getting a puppy of less than a year old when the kids are younger than five or six years might make situations difficult. A puppy learns to control its abilities to bite, scratch, and run in the first two years. It has less patience in playing with kids. A puppy, younger than two years, does not have a sense of responsibility as an adult dog.
Getting a puppy when you have kids younger than five years might become a safety issue. Aside from the safety of the little ones in the family, a puppy needs more care than an adult dog. Parents are already exhausted when there are little ones at home. Caring for an added puppy might feel burdensome without additional support.
With young kids around, an adult dog of at least two years might be a better choice. However, an adult dog also will need time and care to adjust to the new family. Regular training is a must when you bring a new canine at home.
A major question to ask while thinking of getting a dog is — if the presence of canines aggravates health issues of any of the family members. You might even not know if your little ones have allergies that are aggravated by canines. Aside from allergies, the most common dog-diseases that can cause human illness are Campylobacteriosis, Dog-Tapeworm, Hookworm, Rabies, and Roundworm. The following CDC page explains the diseases and corresponding preventions.
Studies show that there are many benefits of owning a dog. Seeking regular veterinary care is essential when there is a canine in the family.
The great news is that regular visits to the veterinary physician and some additional precautions at home can easily prevent the diseases. The main idea is that prospective dog-owners think about the health issues before getting a dog for the family.
Do you vacation frequently?
When you vacation with your family, you need to make sure that the dog is in good hands. If you plan to keep your dog with local pet care, it would be good to talk to people who left their dogs with that pet care before. Without good recommendations, you do not know what kind of care the dog will get. Your dog will not be able to tell you anything after you return from vacation. You might find your dog irritated if it did not receive proper care.
Leaving a dog with a family that the dog is familiar with is always a good idea. However, giving trouble for an extended period to friends is irresponsible unless you have an agreement with your friends that you will take care of their dogs when they will be on vacations.
Time consideration and emotional well-being of a dog
A dog pet-parent needs to set aside at least one hour for the dog per day to play with it, give exercise and training, and do grooming, to ensure its physical and psychological health. There is no point of having a dog but not giving regular full attention to it.
A dog can sense negligence as well as rush running in the family. Its emotional health relies on the interactions of family members with it. Treating a dog as a family member and giving the care it deserves is a family responsibility.
I haven’t ever owned a canine (with full responsibility) but been with families owning multiple pets. I have seen how emotionally sensitive dogs are. When my cousin became sick and stayed in the hospital for a night, I saw her supercharged poodle grow sad and curl up in front of the front door of the home the entire day. The poodle became playful again the next day when my cousin returned home.
One should not get a puppy if he/she is not sure that the puppy will get enough attention and time.
What is the cost of getting a dog
Getting a puppy generally involves seeking a dog-breeder who is willing to send a dog for adoption. Some dog-breeders keep the dogs to train them for one or two years before sending them to a good home. A caring dog-breeder will interview you to check how you will treat the dog after adoption.
You can also check if the dog-breeder is maintaining registrations of litters via American Kennel Club. The club registrations ensure a level of responsible breeding standards. I am not sure if all local dog-breeders will maintain such registrations, but it is worth checking when it comes to getting a puppy for the family.
How much does a dog cost annually?
According to David Weliver’s report, the first-year cost of a dog is $1,270. Annual cost thereafter is $695.
Some friends informed me that the type of dog breed you bring at home is also a factor that influences the annual cost. Some strains become sick more frequently than other kinds. For example, a Basset Hound is prone to develop skin-related diseases and infections. Therefore, the type of canine you adopt may increase the average cost due to frequent visits to the veterinary physician.
The article below lists common American dogs and their health issues.
The article lists twelve common dog breeds and their potential health issues.
Should I get a dog if I work all day?
You will need help if you work all day and if you decide to get a puppy. It is not recommended to leave a puppy for too many hours without guiding it to potty. Two or three hours might be fine for a puppy, but if there is no one for more than that, then you need to seek help. An adult dog can be left home for a longer period.
How long can an adult dog hold its pee?
An adult dog can hold its pee for 8 hours. If you know that your dog will have to be home alone for more than 8 hours, you need to pay for a dog walker or consider a dog-daycare.
Should I get a dog in college?
Getting a dog in a college is not always an option, especially if the owner lives in the college dormitory. College dorms allow neither puppies nor cats.
If the owner lives in an apartment complex while in college, then getting a puppy might be feasible. Getting a puppy might be alright if the apartment is close to campus. That way, the owner can stop by the apartment time-to-time between classes and spend some time with the puppy. That said, it all depends on how much time the owner will be able to manage for the pet. College can be quite intense.
I had friends having puppies during my college years. Therefore, it is not unheard of.
What about us — Should we get a puppy?
Both of us work full time. Given that we go for long vacations several times each year, I am not comfortable getting a puppy yet. We had taken care of pets of friends when they went for vacations. We are accumulating doggy-care points. We will consider getting a puppy once we have enough doggy-care points. We would love to hear about your experience regarding dogs in your family. Please leave your feedback in the Comments section below.
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