Should I own a dog? Probably you asked yourself this question way many times. I know I did. Consider three very important questions before deciding to add a new puppy to your household.
- Does the person who will ultimately be responsible for the dog’s day-to-day care really want a pup?
In many active families the woman of the household is the person who will have the ultimate responsibility for the family pet and she may not want any more duties than she already has.
Pet care can be an excellent way to teach children responsibility, but beware in their enthusiasm to have a puppy, children are apt to promise almost anything. It is what will happen after the novelty of owning a new dog has worn off that must be considered.
- Does the lifestyle and schedule of the household lend itself to the demands of proper dog care?
This means there must always be someone available to see to the pet’s basic needs: feeding, exercise, coat care, access to the outdoors when required, and so on.
- Is the kind of dog being considered suitable for the individual or household?
Very young children can be very rough and unintentionally hurt a young puppy of a small breed. On the other hand, a young puppy of a very large or very rambunctious breed like the Australian Cattle Dog can overwhelm and sometimes injure an infant or small child in an enthusiastic moment.
Sharing a tiny apartment with a giant breed can prove extremely difficult for both dog and owner. Toy breeds will have difficulty surviving northern winters if required to live outdoors in unheated quarters.
A long-haired dog, while attractive, is hardly suitable for the individual who spends most outdoor time camping, hunting, or hiking through the woods.
In addition to the above three major questions regarding pet ownership, the prospective dog owner should strongly consider the specific peculiarities of his or her own lifestyle or household. All this applies whether the household is made up of a single individual or a large family.
Everyone involved must realize that the new puppy will not understand the household routine and must be taught everything you want it to know and do. This takes time and patience, and very often the most important lessons for the new dog to learn will take the longest for it to absorb.