There are a wide variety of pets that you can choose from. As a matter of choice, you can either add one to your lifestyle or add one that changes your lifestyle. Consider a pet rock if you do not want your lifestyle changed at all. But if you want your life to change, go for something that has some life to it. Personally I am not sure about calling a rock or a plant a pet, but some people do. That is OK if you choose this. More power to you. But there is nothing like “mans best friend”, and your search on the Internet for information on a dog has led you to us.
So are you thinking about getting a dog? Looking at all those cute little puppies? Getting ready for a birthday, Christmas, or other gift giving time? Is it the kids or spouse that are trying to talk you into it? Or have the kids went away to college and now that you are an empty nester you just want a companion or a few distractions around the house? Or do you have a specific need where a dog is appropriate? After all, dogs have been bred throughout history to perform very specific functions for humans. Unlike cats, dogs actually have a internal need to please their masters!
For whatever the reason you are considering a pet, you should strongly consider not only the motives, but also the commitment that you are getting ready to make. Pets, especially dogs, are a big commitment. It is not just the moments of joy that they bring as puppies, but the 10-15 years of daily care that you are signing up for. Don’t get me wrong because although it is a lot of work, the rewards are tenfold in my opinion. If you are ready, and sure of it, read on for practical advice and some of the thought processes you should go through before making a decision.
Can you afford it? Owning a pet is a small investment to the love that you get in return, but it does involve lots more than just buying a few bags of kibble every month. Consider regular expenses such as health care, pet licensing, Accessories and toys, and potential replacement for damaged items. Reality is that whether your pet is indoor or outdoor there will be accidents, boredom, and separation anxiety that may result in chewing, scratching and just plain “fun” with everything from furniture to flip-flops.
Why do you want to get a dog? This can be a tough question you have to answer, but it must be done. There are lots of good reasons to add to your family and “because” is not one of them. Take the time to write down what you want to get from owning a canine. If you don’t know what kind of dog that is the best choice for your lifestyle, this list will help you make a better choice when the time comes.
There are also several “quizzes” on line that will help you identify different breeds that match your personality, but DO NOT depend on these as “the gospel” for choosing your breed. Talk to some of your local friends and even a local veterinarian on breed behaviors. And remember that their opinion on the good and bad. It is going to be influenced by what they like and may not match what you like, so keep this in mind when making your choice.
What does your dog look like? Never make a decision on a puppy just because of the way that it looks! Don’t get me wrong on this point, because there is a lot of intrinsic value on believing your dog looks like your dog, but making a choice on looks alone (and not breed behavior) can be a bad bad mistake. Everyone has an idea of what they think a dog should look like, so remember that those “cute little puppies” will grow up (and change in appearance and behavior) as they go through their first year.
And once you determine what “your dog” might look like, make sure that you consider what their environment looks like. So many dogs end up with rescue organizations because “owners” do not take the time to insure that they are getting the right pet for the environment. Face the facts that some dogs fit into farms better than apartments and visa versa and be honest with yourself. I am not saying that having a high energy bred will not work in an apartment, but considering environments and tendencies will decrease frustrations and increase the likelihood of a great relationship.
Where do you look for the right dog? There are a wide variety of choices on where to get a dog. There are a lot of different opinions on this. There are the professional breeders, puppy mills, pounds and pet stores choose from. You can find them from neighbors, friends and friends of friends, the news papers, and the ever popular on line searches. The web site Petfinder.com does a good job in bringing all of the listings from local shelters and animal protection groups together. Since 1995 they have helped over 13 million pets find homes. Not all “pound puppies” are mutts. Some estimates are that 50% of these dogs are purebreds looking to be “re-homed”. If you are looking for a purebred puppy professional breeders are another excellent source. Make sure to check references and view the facilities to avoid getting a puppy mill product that often produces animals with less than desirable traits and health.
And then there is the, “It followed me home, can I keep him?” we have all heard. Probably not a good idea as these dogs most likely belong to someone else and have wandered off following their sense of smell and natural curiosity. Or maybe they made it to your driveway after being lured and coaxed by a youngster that “really, really” wants a puppy. In either case, someone is probably looking for their dog and you should make every effort to find it’s rightful owner.
Given this food for thought (or kibbles for knowledge), we are going to em”Bark” on a variety of post and pages sharing the good and the bad of selecting and owning a dog. The information and stories are meant to be informative, realistic and entertaining. We take owning any kind of pet seriously.
C’mon and join us by sharing your feedback, comments, stories, pictures and insights by logging in. You can also create or join one of our “groups” for discussion purposes with other people with similar interest. And yes, there are products that we will periodically highlight. These are products that we have researched, tried, and made a conscious decision on sharing our thoughts/recommendations. If you like what you see, we hope that you use the links that we provide to purchase these items.