You keep observing that your neighbor’s dog is showing all the affection and respect to its master and you also feel like having a dog as a pet.
A dog is a fiercely loyal, lovable, faithful and even a useful pet. As American humorist Josh Billings said “a dog is the only the only thing on the earth that loves you more than he lovers himself.” However, before you get a pet dog, evaluate many additional duties and responsibilities that come your way. This blog gives a simple checklist that you should evaluate before having a pet dog. After all, a dog is no less than a family member.
Having A Pet Dog Is A Full Time And Long Term Responsibility
1. No extended periods of a locked home: Can at least one person in your family remain at home for 24 hours to accompany the pet? A dog, without seeing his masters, becomes restless after spending at the most 3 to 4 hours locked alone in a house.
2. Medical attention: Is there a reputed veterinarian in your area? Apart from the dog’s quarterly and yearly vaccinations, the dog may need a medical attention at any point of time.
3. Living and medical expenses of the dog: Are you willing to spend on pet’s medication around Rs.2000-Rs. 4000 per year (on pet vaccination?). There will also be additional monthly expenses on dog’s diet, grooming, soaps, shampoos, hygiene medicines, occasional kennel charges and initial grooming by a dog trainer. In case of some more health issues, the medical expenses are on higher side.
4. Dog’s grooming: Will someone in your family bathe the dog at least once every fifteen days? The dog will also need frequent brushing of it’s coat.
A Dog Needs Substantial Daily Exercise and Physical Activity
5. Veg or non-veg diet: There are mixed opinions on whether a dog can be fully vegetarian. If you are a vegetarian family and would also like to feed only vegetarian food to your pet dog, consult your veterinarian. The vet can suggest the best food option for your dog based on the dog breed. In case, you need to feed meat to your dog, you need to plan who in your family will feed occasional meat to the dog.
6. Exercise and activity: An agile animal like a dog needs physical activity and exercise daily. Will there be someone in your family to take out the pet at least twice (minimum 15 minutes each) every day for the walk and physical activity?
7. Space at home: Does your home have enough space to allow the pet to move around? You should not chain the dog within the home for extended periods of times.
8. Hygiene: Despite the best training, the dog at times can relieve itself or vomit inside your home. You need to plan for this occasional cleaning need.
The dog at home can shed its hair coat at least twice a year and naturally your home will have traces of the shed hair coat on the floor, furniture. The coat shedding problem will need you to frequently vacuum your home, wipe the furniture.
Evaluate Properly Before Deciding To Have a Pet Dog
9. Family liking for pets: Is there near unity within the family to own the dog? Are all family members in your home pet lovers? These are critical questions because the dog will be unable to isolate any person who dislikes dogs and will shower the person with all affection. At the same time, the person who dislikes the dog may be frightened if the dog tries to play with her/him.
10. A multi-year responsibility: Owning the dog is a long duration responsibility. Most dog breeds live up to 13 to 17 years. Think twice before getting a dog. You see many abandoned dogs on the streets. This abandoning is emotionally traumatic for the dog.
11. Kennel arrangements: If you and your family go outstation frequently, then you need to keep the dog in a reputed kennel. You also need to manage the emotional stress this situation creates on your dog. A dog is not just about giving him only food, the animal is extremely emotionally attached to its masters. It gets stressful when it does not see his masters for a few days.
A pet dog needs a lot of care and time investment from you. However, the dog will pay you back many times more than investment with his faithfulness, loyalty and affection. In addition to the above mentioned points, consult your veterinarian or a reliable dog trainer/expert before you go for the final decision. Evaluate any more specific points about your home setting or dog breed. Finally, if you decide to have a dog pet, congratulations! Most people will certainly feel that they made one of the best decision of their life of owning a pet dog.
Do you have any tips of your own on making the pet dog owning decision? Do share your comments.