Things You Need To Know Before Getting a Dog - LUV My dogs

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Things You Need To Know Before Getting a Dog

  Pets give us unconditional love and loyalty, and provide constant companionship. Adopting a pet, however, is a big decision. Dogs, cats and small animals are living beings that require a considerable amount of time, money and commitment — over 15 years worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt.

  There are many important things to consider before you start looking to buy/adopt a dog - from finding out if you are ready, to discovering the right breed to suit your lifestyle.

You're going to spend a lot of money.
  Whatever you think you're going to spend on a dog, triple it. Better yet, quadruple it. And depending on your dog, double whatever the sum of your quadrupling.
  Americans spent $55.7 billion on pets in 2013. We spent an estimated $58.5 billion in 2014. In fact, every year, we spend billions more than the previous year on our non-human family members. Why? Because we care.

A dog is for life

  Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment. Animals develop deep bonds with you and your family. Any change in ownership can be extremely traumatic, so you should be prepared for the responsibility involved in dog ownership. Dog owners need to be able to provide shelter, food, water, medical care, and love and attention.

Check out how dog-friendly your neighborhood is. 

  How are the dogs that live near you? Is there a park or hiking trails nearby? Where’s the closest vet and 24-hour emergency? Do you have relationships with your neighbors? How socialized your neighbors’ dogs are is an indication of how your own may be – of course, this is up to you as the pack leader, and if your neighborhood doesn’t provide socialization opportunities, you will need to find other ways to properly socialize your new dog.

Be prepared to groom your dog

  Groom your dog, making sure to ease into a grooming routine. Begin with shorter sessions, and gradually increase to the normal grooming session. Be sure that whoever is grooming the dog pets it frequently, and that your dog is rewarded in the end. Your dog’s nails should not touch the ground, and your dog should be brushed regularly. This will prevent tangles and reduce the risk of skin irritation. Your vet can help you plan an appropriate grooming schedule for your particular dog, depending on breed and hair type.

Any extra mental and physical energy you have? 
  When you come home tired at the end of a long work day, the exuberance with which your dog greets you is absolutely wonderful. And now the dog's stored-up energy needs to be burned off for sanity's sake.
  For the most part, any dog of any size or age needs at least an hour-long walk every day, bare minimum. Dogs with more energy need more walking . If you're lucky, you may have other people around you who can take on some of that walking. But if you're not, that means as soon as you walk in the door at the end of the day, you need to turn around and walk out of it, dog in tow.

   No matter who your dog is, you're likely to have some things that you have to invest mental energy into working on every day, on top of the physical energy that goes into making sure the dog is exercised.

Allow your dog to be social
  Socialize your dog early on. By exposing your dog to various people and environments—not to mention other dogs—it will become a more stable, happy, and confident animal. Be sure to continue socialization beyond the puppy years. Socialization reduces the likelihood that your dog could become fearful or aggressive toward other people and animals.

Don’t make an emotional decision when choosing a dog.
  When you decide the time is right, leave your emotions at the door. Going into a shelter is devastating and sad. But if you let your weaker emotions control your brain and feel sorry for the dog, you may end up adopting a dog that isn’t right for you, your family, or your environment. Save yourself the heartache and struggles later by being methodical and aware now.

Be prepared for house training
  Puppies require house training as they will not automatically know that the yard—not the house—is the appropriate place to… Do their business. It’s the responsibility of the owner to house train the dog. This requires time, lots of patience and a consistent and dedicated regimen.

You’ll be a dentist
  Brush your dog’s teeth in order to prevent dental diseases. Three to five times a week is recommended, and your vet can give you a lesson as well as recommend an appropriate toothbrush and paste.

Say goodbye to spontaneous travel
  Having a dog is a bit like having a kid in that unplanned weekend-getaways or random all-nighters aren't really in the cards. Now that you have a dog, even a late-night dinner date — let alone the basic camping trip — takes more planning. Spontaneity is tough when you have an animal 100 percent dependent on you.
  If you're planning a weekend getaway, it means either finding a pet-sitter you trust, or a hotel that takes dogs. Even for camping, you'll need to check that the campground allows dogs and what the rules are.

It's not going to be what you expect.
  In fact, while we're talking about expectations, let's go ahead and toss all of them out the window. If you're getting a dog because you have certain expectations for what your life will be like with one, just know this: It probably won't be what you thought it'd be. It'll be just as great, but different.

Be sure about your decision
  Above all, make sure that getting a dog is a wise decision for you, your family and your living situation—not just now, but 10, 12, and even 15 years from now.

One thing about owning a dog is universally true: if you do it right, and go into it with your eyes wide open, bringing a dog into your life is going to be one of the best things you ever do.

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