Things to Consider Before Acquiring a Dog

Bringing a dog into your family is an enormous responsibility.  Be sure that you are ready to undertake that commitment before you begin and realize that that commitment of time and devotion must last for many years. 

Understand that dogs have feelings and emotions.  They feel pain, suffering, joy, happiness, sadness, loss, stress, jealousy, grief, depression, enthusiasm, love. 

Pets give their owners love and devotion, and a well cared for pet will give his owners many years of entertainment, affection, companionship, love and happiness. 

Do you have time in your life to devote to the health and happiness of your future canine companion?

Who will feed the dog in the AM and in the PM, adding proper supplements and fresh foods to the meals and be sure that fresh water in a clean bowl is available during the day?

Who will brush the dog's teeth on a daily basis (essential to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and serious health problems)? Clean the ears every few days? Use the Dremel Moto-tool on a weekly or biweekly basis to keep the nails trim? Brush the dog's coat when he is shedding? Give the dog a bath biweekly or monthly and where? A walk-in shower and a showerhead with a long hose make the job a lot easier. 

Who will clean up after the dog? Where will you dispose of the stool? Who will keep track of the stools and be sure they are normal and the dog is healthy?

And gone are the days of a well-manicured lawn and flower garden.  Remember-- chemicals are toxic.  Use only organic fertilizer.  And beware of toxic plants that your dog may "munch" on.  Beautiful lawns and gardens in public domains are usually treated with herbicides, so don't let your dog help himself to a serving of the luscious green grass.  

Do you live in a neighborhood where you can put up a barrier fence at least 5 ft. high? Electric fences will not protect your dog from loose and aggressive neighborhood dogs, nor will it keep your dog in the yard once he has matured. 

Before acquiring a dog, be sure no one in the family has allergies to dogs.

Are you prepared to spend the time, energy and money to have your dog properly trained and to maintain that training and socialization so that your dog will be a good companion and canine citizen for the rest of his life?

Will you be a vigilant and responsible guardian of your dog’s health?  Will you take care of all of your dog’s health needs, routine and emergency, even if expensive and long-term?