Are You Ready To Be A Dog Owner?
As you can imagine, I’m a huge advocate for having dogs since they give us so much in return for a loving home. However, as you can probably appreciate, not everyone is cut out to be a dog owner.
So how do you know if you are ready for a dog?
I actually produced a new episode of my Motivational WebTV series to address this question and I have reproduced it right here for my dog blog readers. I’ll also have these important factors on text below.
Do You Have A Suitable Home For A Dog?
Although cats can be happy in almost any type of residential dwelling including apartments, dogs do better in certain types of homes. Yes, dogs can be quite happy in both houses and high-rise apartments as long as there is access to outdoors nearby.
I lived with my first two Lhasa Apso dogs for many years in high-rise condos and with dog litterboxes available today, many dogs do well with housetraining in high-rise apartments or condos. Just make sure that there are parks nearby where they can get fresh air and exercise. All of my dogs are potty trained indoors with a dog litterbox placed in a designated location inside.
We don’t have to go outdoors if the weather is really nasty like blowing winter snowstorms or heavy rainstorms. Plus I’m not worried if I end up coming home too late. My dogs just go to their dog litterbox whenever they need to.
Keep in mind that not all high-rise buildings allow dogs so make sure that you check with your building rules regarding pets before bringing one home. Some do allow dogs but only a certain type and/or a certain maximum size. For example, I lived in a condo building where dogs had to be 20 pounds or less in order to live in the building.
Do You Have The Time For A Dog?
Puppies are so cute that many people can’t resist bringing them home for themselves or their kids. However, the realities of dog ownership soon set in when we realize just how great the responsibilities are with their care. And this includes having the actual time each day for a dog.
You might want to think about whether your busy lifestyle is in fact too busy for a dog in your life. Dogs require a lot of time as they are not happy if left alone for long periods of time since they are naturally pack animals. There is a good chance that they will destroy your home and make all sorts of noise from constant barking to howling if left alone all the time.
If you can’t devote enough daily time to play and interact with your dog, then do not get one. There are pets out there that require less time such as fish. You have to be totally honest with yourself as to just how much time you can devote to a dog for the rest of its life.
How Much Travel Do You Do?
If you travel a lot away from home for work, you might want to reconsider dog ownership especially if there are no other family members or outside people like pet sitters who can come and look after your pet while you are away.
If you have to end up boarding your dog for two weeks each month during your trips, this might indicate that you should not become a dog owner unless your travel schedule becomes much lighter. A few days of boarding here and there are okay but anything more is not really fair to your pet. After all, how would you like to be put in a boarding kennel for a week each month?
Can You Properly Train A Pet?
Failing to adequately train a dog is one of the biggest reasons for dog ownership failure. You really have to be honest with yourself with your own ability and time required to train a dog. Many dogs have been abandoned because of ignorant owners who failed to properly train their new puppies.
Dog experts claim that there are really no such things as bad dogs as there are only bad dog owners who did not adequately provide the right training for their dogs. Now, it is not expected that new dog owners automatically know how to properly train a dog but that’s okay. If you are a new dog owner, make sure that you get proper dog obedience training which is education for both yourself as well as your dog. Sign up for organized dog obedience training classes.
If you are a future or new dog owner, make sure you catch my free dog training video I shot with my two dogs Chester and Roxie demonstrating basic skills they learned as minimum standards. We also show the training progression we used for each skill.
Do You Have The Budget For Dog Health Care?
You might recall a past blog post where I revealed I had to spend $2,500 on eye surgery for one of my dogs. Dogs can have significant health costs, especially if they get ill or injured.
You certainly don’t want to be in a position where you can’t afford the regular and unexpected vet costs for your dog. It is so unfortunate when dog owners have to give up their pets just because they can’t afford the health care expenses anymore. If these innocent dogs cannot get new homes, they are often euthanized as a result which is a real crying shame. These incidents should never happen.
Does Anybody Have Pet Allergies Or Are Kids Too Young?
If you or any of your family members have allergies to pets, certain dogs will not be appropriate for your home. You need more hypoallergic breeds that your family is not allergic to.
Some breeds of dogs might not be appropriate in families with infants and small children. You want to do some research on the different breeds of dogs to match up a dog breed’s temperament with the age of children you have at home.
My Lhasa Apsos for example, although small and cute, have not been known to be friendly with children. Some breeds just do better with only adults at home. Again, do your research to assess suitability of specific breeds for your family household.
Are You Prepared For A Lifelong Commitment To Your Dog?
Getting a dog should never be on impulse. It’s just not fair to the dog especially if it ends up getting abandoned or abused. You must do adequate research on what is required in order to be a successful dog owner and prepare for a lifelong commitment. My first two Lhasa Apso dogs both lived to age 15. Some dogs have lived even longer so prepare for the long haul.
The rewards and benefits with having a dog are huge as I’ve experienced with the four Lhasa Apsos I’ve owned so far since 1979. However, there are great responsibilities as well and as long as you are realistic about them, the happiness you will have with your dog is limitless.
Be totally honest with yourself as you go through the factors I’ve outined here. If it turns out that you can successfully address these factors with complete honesty, then by all means, you deserve to have a dog.
Share This Article And Dog Video With Others
If you know others who are considering to have a dog, please share this article and video with them. You would be doing them a huge favour. There are buttons on the blog post to easily share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and by email.
Feel free to leave your comments at the blog post (click the link above).