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I personally couldn’t live without my trusty canine companion. If you’re considering the leap into dog ownership consider the many benefits. However, if you haven’t owned a dog before, bear in mind that it’s not a responsibility to take lightly; consider all that this huge commitment entails and weigh up the pros and cons before you buy your first bone.
As any dog owner can tell you, you only have to mention the W-A-L-K word, put on your walking shoes, or jangle the lead, and your dog will go absolutely crazy at the prospect of a walk. I’ve heard of the odd dog who is a lazybones but all the dogs I’ve known LOVE exercise. So, by having a dog you should be forced from the sofa and into regular walking.
There are even studies that show that many dog owners get more exercise than their non-dog owning counterparts.
This too has its downsides. What if you’re too busy? What if you don’t feel like going for a walk and your dog is constantly nagging you to go out? This usually takes the form of nudging you with their snout. Remember that generally, the bigger the dog the more exercise they need, but it also depends on the breed so do your research. If you can’t give an energetic breed lots of exercise, don’t get that one.
There are some progressive employers (such as Houzz!) where you can bring your dog into work, but that’s unusual and doggy daycare can be expensive. Seriously consider your lifestyle and how you can look after a dog if you’re out all day or working long hours. Select the breed or temperament accordingly.
They’re undoubtedly delightful creatures, and people usually have favoured breeds that they love, but even the most mixed mutt is loveable.
Yes, they’re cute but you know, they also poo (and you have to pick it up), most shed hair, and they can really mess up your house lying on the sofa and drooling over (or even chewing) the furniture. Of course there are lots of breeds nowadays that don’t shed so much and if you have a black dog as opposed to a blonde one, the hairs won’t show as much (unless you have a light floor). So, do your research, and if you’re a meticulously clean and tidy person, choose wisely.
Remember if you go overseas, you can’t take your dog with you and other than special pet-friendly accommodation, you can’t take dogs to many hotels, self-contained holiday homes or camp sites. Check that you’ve got good, reputable dog boarding in your area or see if family or friends are willing to look after your dog while you’re away.
Be careful when bringing a dog into a house with children. Until you really know your new dog, especially if he or she is a grown up, you need to ensure children act with care and treat him or her with respect. The dog must also know its place in the pack and not think he or she is above the children. Or, if bringing a new baby into a home with a dog that’s already established there, exercise caution until the new baby has settled in.
As previously stated, it’s true we can become so attached to our beloved pets and many dogs only live to around 12 years of age, though some breeds can live past 15 years. It can be devastating to lose a dog once you’ve come to love them, but weighing it all up, it’s worth it.