Thinking about adding a new member to your family pack? Dogs are amazing companions that help us release stress, enjoy life and live in the present. Dogs and humans have been evolving together for around 10.000 to 30.000 years. This has made our relationship grow and our communication much more fluent, building relationships that have persisted through generations of people and dogs.
Dogs are excellent companions. They will work for us in a variety of ways and they will trust us to provide for them and care for them. For most dogs, keeping us happy can be their primary concern. But, what can we do to give this back to them and what do dogs exactly need from us? What kind of questions should we ask ourselves to know if we can manage that kind of responsibility? Here are the most important ones:
Do I have 1-2 hours a day to take care of a new house member properly?… yes, EVERYDAY
Dogs need 1 hour of exercise EVERYDAY no matter the breed . If they don’t release their energy during the day they tend to engage in destructive or aggressive behaviors. Depending on the breed, dog owners we must set aside some time to train and do things with our dog that nourishes our bonding and socialization. A dog that has a clear schedule and follows the rules is a happy one.
If you decide to get a puppy, you need to know that in order to house train him you are going to have to take him out every 2-4 hours and reward him constantly for eliminating (peeing and pooping) outside. Dogs learn through repetition and need to be rewarded often for their good actions so they tend to repeat it again and again.
On top of that you will have to add some extra time during the week to clean your furry friends hair out of the carpets and floors. No matter if it’s a poodle or a shaggy haired fur ball, all dogs shed. Add some time to brush hair, clean ears and clean teeth during the week. If your dog is sick you will have to add some hours for taking a trip the vet. Also, when they are little they need to go every 21 days for shots and check ups. Every month, you will have to go shopping or do some shopping online to get his food, tick and flea medication, treats and bones.
I know your time is valuable, and for this reason , you don’t want to spend it all on a dog you don’t have the time to take care of. That will add more stress and will not let you enjoy this amazing friend and have a pawsome experience. Owning a dog is something that should be planned in advance in order for it to meet our expectations.
2.What breed will suit me and my family’s lifestyle best? Breed or mix?
Breeds were made for different purposes. Some dogs required more exercise than others, some breeds are more expensive than others as well. Is important that we pick a breed of dog that suits our needs.
Rescues are great for first-time dog owners because they are usually eager to please. Always pick a puppy a puppy or mix that is not showing a lot of interest in anything in the rescue kennels if you want a snuggly, lazy friend. Also, don’t pick the whiner or a very vocal puppy if you have kids that you know will be reinforcing the wrong behaviors .
3.What does a dog need to live a healthy life?
Dogs need physical stimulation, food, love and praise and water everyday. They need mental stimulation everyday as well, which can be doing some obedience training in the backyard or playing with interactive toys.
Dogs need to be told what to do to feel secure. Dogs need a safe place, like their kennel or bed. Dogs need to be reinforced for good actions. Dogs need to feel valued and cared for.
4. Do i have enough space?
Most dogs need a fenced backyard or a place to run free so you can let them out when they need to, this makes things easier for dog parents. This also allows kids and doggies to play together. We shouldn’t play with a dog inside of the house so that he knows when we get inside that it is time to relax. Pups need that separation and a balanced schedule to know what is expected from them.
There should be enough space in your home or apartmentfor your doggie to move around the house and to have a crate and a bed in a designated space.
5. Do I have $100-$500 a month to pay for my dogs expenses?
Dogs cost a lot of money. They need toys, food, a crate or a bed, flee and tick medication and they need to go to the vet to get vaccinations every 21 days the first months. Medical expenses when dogs get sick range from $200 to thousands of dollars. This can add up so it is good to plan for this in your monthly expenses.
6. What rules should i apply in my household? Other family members agree? What are going to be the family members responsibility ?
Is your dog allowed on the furniture? Who will be responsible for walking, feeding and training the dog? It is important that all home members are on the same page.
Dogs need honest leaders that reinforce the right behaviors and stay consistent with their rules. Make sure all family members work together to make the dog ownership experience a pleasant and enjoyable one.