Many people like dogs, but everybody loves puppies – they are so cute and irresistible. However, after the initial thrill of owning a dog has passed, many people tend to lose interest, especially if the dog is giving trouble.
Getting a dog means making a commitment to the animal for his lifetime – approximately 8 years for large dogs, 13 years for medium and 15 years for small dogs.
Before you actually choose a dog, there are certain things to consider ….
- Owning a dog changes your domestic and social life.
- Even after his initial purchase, the dog will continue to cost you money.
- A puppy becomes an adolescent dog, a grown dog and then an old dog.
- A dog needs lots of care, love and attention
- Every single day, you teach him, however unintentionally.
- Your dog is your responsibility for the rest of his life.
Dogs can destroy your shoes, clothes, furniture, even your car bumper, and mud flaps. Puppies have accidents if not supervised. Do you want to clean up the mess in your house, on your carpet, outside in the garage or driveway? Do you want a dog that jumps up on you dirtying up your clothes, or a dog that nips at you constantly, a dog that escapes or wanders from home being a nuisance in the neighbourhood? Can you afford to spend money on quality food, training and veterinary care?? What will happen when you travel, who will look after your dog, can you afford boarding kennels which runs approximately $25.00 a day?
Other questions you must ask yourself:-
Why Have A Dog? Is it for companionship, for protection, as a status symbol, or is it just a piece of property?
If it is for a status symbol or just a piece of property, then perhaps you should buy an inanimate object such as brand name gear, a stereo or car; something without feelings.
If it is going to be tied up or kept in a pen constantly and used as a watchdog, then buy an alarm system or install burglar bars – something maintenance-free. Trust me, it is much cheaper and less responsibility than a dog.
Do I have Enough Time For A Dog? A dog needs lots of time and attention – daily walks, grooming, training, feeding and loving. These are absolutely necessary and very time consuming. If you can’t dedicate a meagre 2 hours a day to your dog, then get another type of pet like a goldfish.
Do I Have Enough Space? A dog needs a comfortable shelter to protect him from the sun and rain, a safe fenced enclosure and lots of room to run around and play.
Do I have enough patience, energy, discipline and stamina to train my dog? Dogs are like children; they will test you constantly and try to take advantage of any situation that is to their benefit. Like children, they can bring frustration as well as joy and affection.
Can I afford the cost of keeping a dog? Food, supplements, toys, grooming, training and vet bills do add up over the years. And what about, when you go away? You will probably have to leave your dog at boarding kennels. Add to that the price of repairing or replacing shoes, furniture, car bumpers, etc; no doubt there will be some damage.
Please think carefully!! There are too many unwanted dogs, over 3,000 dogs are destroyed in Barbados.