To have a dog is a truly rewarding experience, but is a dog right for you?
You are going to bring in a new family member who is going to be around for 10 – 15 years. Before you and the family decide to walk out and adopt a canine companion it is vital to ask yourself a few questions.
Why do you want a dog?
You Need a Companion: It’s in a dog’s nature to be a part of a pack, hence they make perfect companions and fit into family life so well. They are social animal and will be a great family member, to do that you need to have the time and resources to build a strong bond with them.
For the Kids: Dogs are a great way to teach your kids some responsibility, but your kids cannot be the dogs caretaker. Always remember getting a dog and leaving it up to the kids to take care of is the wrong thing to do. You are the primary care giver to the dog.
A surprise for someone: Do not adopt a dog for someone else! Being a pet parent is a personal decision and you cannot take a decision on behalf of anyone. Yes, they are adorable, funny, huggable and loyal but they are not things to gift. If the person you are gifting the dog to, has been involved in the whole process and is ready to become a pet parent, then yes it will be a great gift.
For style and fashion: Though there are breeds that could give you the impression that dogs can be accessories, they are not. No matter the size of the pooch they still are living, breathing beings and they will always want to belong and be a part of the family.
You may have many reasons to adopt a dog and get it home. However, the only great reason to get a dog home is that you want to share your life with him/her and are able and willing to take up responsibility of it’s life no matter what.
Remember a dog is a member of your family and you should treat it well.
ARE YOU READY TO LIVE WITH A DOG?
Time and Commitment: You will need a lot of time, care and patience for a dog. You will have to train them and get them acquainted with the rules of your house. From potty training to commands you will have to invest time in your pooch and educate him to behave ad know the difference between fun activities and destructive behavior.
You will have to organize yourself for your dog, since you are the one who is responsible you will have to ensure they get enough of exercise, training, grooming and a safe environment at home. Dogs are social beings, so you will have to ensure you have enough time in a day to get social and meet the needs of your pooch. The amount of time you have can be the deciding point on the type of dog you should get. So, pay attention to this, not all breed are comfortable being on their own and minimum exercise.
Expenses: You are going to be the responsible one and need to consider that there are financial and social responsibilities to being a dog owner. Depending on the breed and size dog expenditure can vary from INR 2000 a month to INR 15,000 for those who can afford to really give their pooch the royal treatment. Bear in mind your usual expenses and if you can afford to pitch in the additional for your canine companion, this will help you consider the breed you are willing to adopt.
Living Space: Do you own a home or are you renting? Does your rental allow you to keep dogs. Is your society open to dogs living in your apartment? If they do is there any restriction on size and breed? Even if you don’t have restrictions and answer positively, please think of the area around you. Will your dog have enough space to walk and play? You cannot bound a dog to 4 walls, like mentioned earlier dogs are social beings, they love the wind in their face, the long run fetch or just a huge space to explore. If your house is not big, don’t worry here are breeds that you can adopt to accommodate in your home, just ensure you have external spaces that allow you to take your companion on an adventure.
ARE YOU READY TO BE A RESPONSIBLE PET PARENT?
A dog is a commitment for life and as a pet parent you have to carry out the following tasks on a regular basis, to ensure your companion is healthy, comfortable, safe and secure:
Regular vet checkups and shots
Proper training and grooming
Prevention of fleas, worms and ticks
Dog permit is valid and renewed
Socialize your dog and keep in control
Ensure they have identification tags in case of runaways
Spend enough time to make them feel loved and a sense of belonging
If you are ready to take up all this and have concluded that you are READY to adopt a pooch remember this A Dog may not be around your whole life, but to them you are their whole life.
Last but most important advice, please adopt a dog and avoid buying one. There are many organizations that help dogs find a home, become a part of this healthy cycle. A lot of puppies sold today are results of backyard breeders. These illegal breeders are the reasons why most of the puppies you buy end up being constantly sick and in need of medical attention.
There is no harm in a mixed breed, they are way healthier and live longer. Please educate yourself on the place you are going to pick your canine companion from and you decide.