At some point in our lives, some of us have that desire to bring home a dog. Are you at that point? Here are just a few points you should consider before taking that plunge.
PEE, POOP, AND THROW UP
Do you have carpets in your home that you don't want a dog to poop on? If you do, then you can be fairly confident that sooner or later that carpet will be the perfect spot for your dog's use to pee, poop and throw up. Oh sure, you can house-train them, but accidents happen and you can be sure some of it will happen in your house. And if you aren't meticulous about picking up after your dog in your yard, you will probably step on a doggie landmine some day too.
Do you just hate having dog fur all over your clothes? If this is a real turn off for you, make sure you get a dog that sheds very little. Even then, you will get some.
YOUR TIME IS A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT
Do you have the time it takes to properly look after a dog? The dog must be fed, given water, exercised, trained, groomed, have its teeth brushed, and nails trimmed. Who will take care of your dog when you go on holidays or away for the weekend?
WHO ARE YOU GETTING THE DOG FOR?
Are you getting the dog for the kids? If so, then stop right now! Go to the nearest mirror and look in – the person staring back at you is the person that must be responsible for taking care of the dog. No matter how mature your child may be, they can't ever fully understand the scope of responsibility. Be prepared to walk this dog, feed this dog, and clean up this dog's poop for its entire life. Oh, and just when they are revealing the latest secret on Lost, you can bet the dog is going to want to go out. Having a dog is like having a two-year-old and you are bound to this relationship for the next fifteen years.
Affordability is another major factor. Expect to spend an average $1,500 per year for food, toys, treats, and veterinarian bills and that's if your dog stays healthy. One serious medical problem or accident and you could be faced with a bill of over $4,000. Also remember, in the Town of Markham, pets need to be registered every year.
Lastly, and this is a very important consideration, make sure the dog fits your lifestyle. If you like to jog a few kilometres every day and you want a buddy, then get a dog that likes exercise – a Labrador or a Golden Retriever might be a good choice for you. If you are a couch potato though, make sure you get a dog that requires less exercise, such as a Pug (left) or maybe a Silky Terrier. But remember, all dogs need to be walked and given exercise every day.
There are many rewarding aspects of having a dog, but those rewards come with a lot of responsibilities. Please, for the sake of the dog, make your choices wisely. Next article, we will look at where to find the dog for you. Stay tuned! •
Rob Goddard has been working to save pets since 2002 when he started fundraising to help pets in need. He has served as President of Helping Homeless Pets, an association of pet rescues in Canada, since 2007. Rob began to help lost pets to get back home in 2010 when his software company launched a National Lost / Found Pet Registry called Helping Lost Pets. The website is used across North America.
Rob has two miniature dachshunds named Milo and Layla and the three are often seen at various pet events with the Woofjocks.
His dogs have competed in agility and have made many visits to seniors homes. Their list of TV credits include TVO Kids, Breakfast TV, Animal House Calls, The Surreal Gourmet, Wedding SOS, Zoink’d and Rogers Daytime.
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