One of the most challenging things to do when deciding whether or not to add a furry member to the family is taking your feelings out of the situation. This is so much easier said than done. Who has not gone to the local Humane Society or animal shelter, seen those loving puppy or dog eyes, that happy wagging tail, the touch of soft fur and the gentle kisses of their affection that practically scream to take them home? Dogs by their very nature are companion animals. It is this very nature that drives their pack mentality and makes them great additions to the family. Adding a puppy or dog to the family includes responsibilities one must consider that extend beyond the mutual affection that occurs between dogs and people. Some questions to consider before deciding to adopt a puppy or dog are as follows:
- Why do I want to own a dog?
- Do you have time?
- Can you afford proper care?
- Will a dog fit your lifestyle?
- Is now the right time?
- Are you ready to be a responsible dog owner?
- Are you committed to caring for the dog for the rest of its life?
- Do you already have other pets?
In a future article I shall address each of these questions in greater detail. Today, let’s conclude with the single most important question to consider before bringing a dog into your family.
Why do I want to own a dog?
Adopting a dog simply because it tugs on your heartstrings, because it is so cute or because it is what your child wants are all the wrong reasons. Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Ask yourself who is going to care for the dog, especially if you are getting it for your child. Bear in mind that the furry friend you choose could be a member of your family for ten to fifteen years or more depending on the age and breed of the dog.