Impulsive buying often ends with empty pockets and bad mood. The consequences are even worse if one gets a live creature – a dog. What should you consider before getting a new friend?
Everybody can find themselves in a situation when you just cannot resist the lovely creature you see, and you want to take him with you. It’s especially easy to give in those feelings if one buys a dog in a local market or from ads on the internet, which are often put there by irresponsible breeders or agents of puppy mills. They don’t want to devote their time to know you – the potential buyer – better, and learn if you really took time to make a decision to get a dog.
“It’s very easy to fall in love with an animal. Sharing home with a pet can be one of the most pleasant experiences in life. From the other side, dogs need time and finances, and this commitment lasts fifteen years or longer. Thus you will be happy to have dog’s company only if you see into all pros and cons before getting a dog”, – said Brigita Kymantaite, leader of Animal Rights Protection Organization Lithuania.
The fact, that you read this article, already shows you are responsible and attentive person. Before you get a dog, you need to consider the following questions.
1. Do you really want a dog or you just feel like having it now?
It is not ok to get a dog only because your children asked for it. This animal will live 10, 15 or 20 years, and you will have to be the one who takes care of him.
2. Do you have time for a dog?
Dogs love company and cannot be ignored just because you are tired or busy. They need food, water, petting, grooming, physical and mental stimulation every day, all year round. Many animals end up in shelters because their owners had no idea how much time does it take to take care of a dog. Sometimes you’ll need to change plans of you vacations or moving to other place because of a dog. Think twice if your pet will not be a burden for you and your family because of your busy lifestyle? A dog does not care if it is a weekend, a holiday, it’s raining cats and dogs, or you are sick and have temperature – they will need you to walk them like everyday.
3. What type of dog do you want?
Do you want a calm grown-up dog, or a playful puppy, who will be fun, but will require much more attention and training? Remember that a fluffy silly puppy will soon grow up to a not so cute dog. It is also important to get a dog whose temperament, character and physical abilities match your lifestyle. One dogs are more active than others, so consider all circumstances before making a decision. A responsible breeder or shelter assistant will help you choose the best matching dog.
4. Will you have enough finances to take care of a dog?
Dogs are quite expensive. Even if a dog does not cost much if you get him from the shelter, you will have to put aside part of family’s budget for your pet. There is a registration fee at a municipality, annual vaccinations, tick control treatments, food, toys, unexpected illnesses, training and other expenses, which are making an impact on your wallet every month.
5. Are you ready for problems that your dog will cause?
He can chew your furniture or your beloved shoes, dig flowers, and make a number of other pranks. A dog will bring mud to your home, there will be dog hair everywhere (including on your guests!), he will mark your clean windows with his wet nose, and many dogs have a specific smell no matter how often you wash them. Are you ready for this?
6. Can you keep a pet at your home?
If you are a tenant, the landlord will not let you have a dog. Also, consider the rules for dog keepers of your municipality to know if you will be able to comply with them.
7. Is it the right time to get a dog?
If you have small children, it might be better to wait several years until they grow up a little. If you plan a baby, consider getting a dog even more. Many dogs get into shelters when the baby arrives – there’s no time to walk a dog, dog hair everywhere becomes annoying, because their stick to baby’s palms when they crawl, or you learn that a baby is allergic to dogs. If you are a student or travelling is part of your life, it might be better to wait until you have a more steady lifestyle, too.
8. Is your neighborhood suitable for a dog?
It depends not only on the size of the dog. For example, small dogs tend to be more active and bark when hear noises; they also need to move more to run out their excessive energy. At the same time, some big dogs can lay on sofa for hours. Learn as much as you can about dog’s breed before getting a pet, so you can be sure he will fit to your lifestyle and neighborhood.
9. Who will take care of your dog when you’re out for vacation or a business trip?
You will need a good, trusted friend, a neighbor, or money to leave your dog at a dogs’ hotel. If you will take your dog with you, learn about the rules of dog transportation, crossing borders, and hotel policies regarding dogs. Taking your dog with you will increase your expenses.
10. Are you ready to take care of your pet until the end of his life?
When you get a dog, you commit to take care of him until the end of his days. An animal is not a thing which can be thrown away when you’re tired of it.
Take your time to make a decision about keeping a dog. It can be one of the most pleasant and joyful experiences of life, but only if decisions are made responsibly from the very start.
More information can be found on NoriuŠuns.lt, a project about responsible dog breeding and ownership. EducatedDog.com partners with Animal Rights Protection Organization Lithuania to develop the project.