Having a dog comes with many joys and fun experiences, you get a wonderful pooch who will love you unconditionally and will always be ready to join you on your adventures! But are you sure that you want to have a dog? As much fun as they are, they come with a big responsibility and commitment. In this article we will go through what it means to have a four legged family member - the cons and pros!
From small chihuahuas to big Great Danes - dogs comes in all shapes and sizes. Though there might be many differences among different breeds all dogs share a lot in common. If you want to have a dog you have to consider if you are able to provide for one. Before making the big decision, here are some questions to ponder on.
Buying or adopting a dog will obviously cost some money. But apart from that, there are many things we don't always consider that might costs a lot of money. Not only do you have to buy the necessities such as a bowl, bed, leashes, etc. But there will be costs that are recurrant. You have to buy food every month, every 3rd month or 6 months depending on how much you buy and how much your dog eats. Bigger dogs eats more so they can become quite pricey. Consider if you can afford good quality food since your dogs health can be dependant on what they consume. If your dog has any allergies or illnesses they might require special food which can be even pricier. Aside from food you will have to take your dog to the vet every now and then. Vet visits can be really expensive so it is important to have a good insurance, which is also something you have to include in your budget. If your dog has any illnesses they might require vet checkups often which can add up to something really expensive, the dog might also be in need of medicine and medicines costs money as well.
Despite what anyone ever says, there are no 100% allergy friendly Dog breeds. Every dog produces allergens and the amount varies more between different individuals than between different breeds. There are Dog breeds people say produces less allergens but still there are no 100% guarantee of anything. If you are interested in a particular dog, you can have a trial period in your home, to see if if anyone is allergic before you decide to buy or adopt any dog.
Dogs requires a lot of time. No dog should ever be left more than 4 hours on a daily basis. There are people with different opinions on this one but imagine yourself if you were left in a room with nothing to do more than 4 hours every day. Dogs are social creatures.
Dogs are hard work, especially if you get a puppy. You will have to put countless hours on training throughout the dog's life. You will have to walk them and exercise them daily, in any weather condition. You will have to wake up early to let them outside.
If you are a neat freak, perhaps dogs aren't for you. They will shed, sometimes copious amounts, their muddy paws will leave prints unless you wash them, there might get dirt stuck in their fur and so on.
Science is always in the making. We know a lot more today about dogs than we did before, and we will continue to improve our understanding of these wonderful beings. If you have a dog it's really important that you get a grasp on dog's body language. It's important that you respond appropiatly to their communication, train them appropiatly, feed them an appropiate carnivorous diet and so on. What also matters a lot is that you listen to real professional trainers/behaviourists to fully understand your dog. Many who call themselves dog trainers ignores signs of stress and discomfort, exposing your dog to suffer unnecessarily. Positive methods should always be used and if someone says otherwise, you should not listen to them. If they are a dog trainer you should get a new one.
Dogs lives anywhere between 7-14 years and you should consider how your future will look and if it's suited for a dog. Are you ready to care for one for many years?
If you think you are ready for a dog, it's time to start thinking of what kind of breed you want. It is very easy to fall in love with a look of a specific breed but looks alone should never determine what breed you chose. Looks are actually what matters the least. Many people fall for huskies, shepherds or other working dogs or hunting dogs. People don't consider the need of these breeds. A husky will require a ton of exercise, like many hours of it each day, to stay happy. They shed more than you could ever imagine and they are very noisy. German shepherd requires a lot of exercise as well as a lot of mental stimulus because they are very intelligent dogs that need to use their heads. Big dogs will be more work when they start pulling in their leash, big dogs will be more work if you allow them to jump on you when they're puppies. When deciding dog, think of your lifestyle and how active you are. Base your choice of breed on your activity level. Think about your own interests in the dog world. Would you like to pursue a dog sport? Do you hunt? Or do you just enjoy your walks and jogging routes?
When you have realized what activity level you have in your life - stuff like size, kind of fur and looks can now be considered. Do you enjoy brushing and grooming your dog? If not, maybe a short haired dog. Do you live in an enviroment where it's hard to make space for a big dog? Maybe a small dog would be easier.
Mutts, mixed breeds - whatever you call them - are very good dogs too. You can save a homeless mixed dog and have a loving pet that is just as good as a pure breed dog. There are some things to consider though when it comes to mixed breed dogs.
Genetics aren't black-and-white. It is nearly impossible to predict how a mixed breed puppy will turn out. The 50-50 breed saying is not true at all, even if both parents were of different pure breeds. In the same litter one puppy could be 50-50 and another could be 20-80. Different attributes could get mixed up in any order. The more breeds are mixed in, the more uncertainty you get. It's especially hard to tell if a dog will turn out to be a high energy dog if they have many breeds mixed in them. The better option in this case would be adopting an adult dog. Always consider what you can offer the dog!
If a mutt turns out to have a very high prey drive you will have to deal with it. If you want a dog with less prey drive there are many breeds who doesn't have any significant prey drive.
This statement is not true at all. Pure dogs often get's "registrered" as ill whenever they have something that could impact the breeding. Diseases and deformaties gets registrered and checked. The reason for this is to have a responsible breeding so you can pick two healthy individuals to mate. You cannot do this with mutts, as they do not have any pedigree in which you can follow the parents and grandparents health. With mutts you often don't have any check ups at all unless the dog is suffering from something noticeable.
It's also important when getting a dog to consider if a puppy really is the optimal choice. There will be tears and sweat with a dog going through puberty as they will have their teenager periods. A puppy will annihilate every possible object within its reach and a puppy will chew and bite your hands and legs. When you get a very small puppy you can never leave them alone, ever. Separation anxiety is real and alone-time has to be taught with patience. So if you have to run to the store someone has to look after your pup. If you have to shower, well… someone either look after it or you bring it with you until you have taught it to be alone (in a positive way). Puppies are babies so try to imagine how a human baby experiences the world. Everything is new to a puppy so they require a lot of time, sacrifice, training, and sleepless nights. With an adult dog you won't have this problem.
There are many more things to consider with dogs but these are the essential questions you have to ask yourself first. I hope this article made sence and helped you in your important choice! :)
If you have decided that dogs are for you, here's a continuation: https://dogs.savvity.net/discussion/1529461/getting-a-new-dog!