You’re happy at home, but they just seem to be something missing. Ah, it’s a dog. Remember when you were a child, the fun you had with your dog.
Whilst you can’t recapture your youth, you can fill the void. And for those of you who have children, they will get to enjoy the love and attention of their very own dog. It will also help teach them ‘some’ responsibility. Hey, every kid will commit to taking the dog for a walk before you get one, but when the chips crumble! Teaching a love for animals and responsibility are only small side benefits of owning a dog.
So the first question you ask yourself – do you buy or to adopt a new dog. Both methods have their pros and cons. Most dog lovers go to breeders and pick up a purebred dog – sometimes they pay large sums of money. That’s fine if you’re going to dog shows and competitions but some of the nicest and best-tempered dogs can be found at the pound, or in foster care. It’s a much cheaper route and it gives a dog a much-needed home.
But beware! You need to determine the type, age and size of the dog before you go out the door and stick to it! Once you meet the pound with dogs you will see a lot of cute dogs that your heart can escape with you. So make the decision and stick to it, no matter how much pressure your children put on you!. Talk to your local rescue groups, go and see the fostered dogs. This is a great way to find a dog that suits your needs because you can ask the foster family about the dog before you commit, as well as seeing him in a family surrounding.
Consider an older dog, not just a puppy. While puppies are really cute and fun, once a dog reaches 3 or 4 its temperament and behavior are pretty well set. It’s also probably been spayed or neutered and it will be full grown. You will know exactly what you’re getting and be able to provide a loving home for a long time to come.
When you get your dog home there will be a period of adjustment. Depending on the dog’s circumstances it may have been in a foster home, it may have been abused and it will have spent some time in the cages at the pound. This is a difficult time for your dog so an additional understanding is needed. The dog may bark, chew, scratch, and even carry “accidents” while trying to adapt to a new life. It’s stressful, so make a safe haven for your dog and give him some area and time to adjust.
Exercise is important so take your dog out and give it all the exercise it needs as soon as you can after taking it home. This will give you a good indication of how much exercise your dog requires and how well behaved it is. Training is important, regardless of the dog’s history. This will give you insight into your dog’s behavior (as well as your behavior!), which is a great time for bonding as well. Make sure that you’re consistent so that your dog learns how to behave correctly.
Follow this simple advice and you’ll have a happy, healthy, loving, well-behaved dog for you and your family to enjoy for a long time to come.