Choosing a Dog That’s Right For You
Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for nothing. No matter what your imperfections are, they can always be counted upon to give you unconditional love. But before you hit the local pet store for your new best friend, you should ask yourself (1) whether you can make a long-term commitment to being a “dog parent” and (2) whether you would be willing change your lifestyle to meet the needs of your four-legged friend.
The New York Daily News online observes that “[the] single, active lifestyle can [create] a precarious situation for a dog.” This is because single people tend to work longer hours and go out more often to socialize. Throwing a dog into the mix would mean finding time for “daily trips to potty [and] rigorous exercise” and setting aside money to pay for the occasional trip to the vet.
Some people with money and time to spare for a dog think that smaller canines mean less work. Nothing could be further from the truth: “small dogs, with endless energy to burn and a bladder to match their body size.” Moreover, “many smaller breeds are also very difficult to train and require constant reinforcement to avoid behavioral issues.” Although larger dogs may take up more space, they are typically easier to train and less hyper than their pint-sized counterparts.
Living situations that include small children can pose a challenge to dog ownership: “problems occur when parents do not have the time to care for [a dog] or choose the wrong breed for their family.” A general rule of thumb is “the smaller the size of the dog, the more fragile it is.” Also, smaller breeds can have nervous and/or aggressive temperaments that make them unsuitable for children.
When people do decide to get a dog, they are far more likely to get a puppy rather than a mature animal. If you buy a puppy from a pet store, that dog will likely be the product of a puppy mill and “prone to medical issues due to poor breeding practices.” Consider getting your puppy or dog from an animal shelter or other pet rescue organization. And if you adopt an older dog, you’ll save yourself the time and trouble of having to train it.
Whether you plan on getting a canine pal for yourself or as a gift for someone else, it’s important to remember that a dog “is a living, breathing creature [and] not an accessory.” Your furry friend needs food, shelter, love and quality medical care of the kind you’ll find at the Pet and Bird Clinics of Austin. If you can provide them with these things, your world—and theirs—will be immeasurably enriched.
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