July's 2012 Tip: Be a Responsible Dog Owner
Be a Responsible Dog Owner
Among companion animals, dogs are unmatched in their devotion, loyalty and friendship to humankind. Anyone who has ever loved a dog can attest to its hundred-fold return. The excitement your dog shows when you come home, the wagging tail at the sound of the leash being taken from its hook, the delight in the tossing of a tennis ball, and the head nestled in your lap-those are only some of the rewards of being a dog owner.
Owning a dog is not just a privilege-it's a responsibility. These animals depend on us for, at minimum, food and shelter, and deserve much more. If you are considering taking a dog into your life, you need to think seriously about the commitment that dog ownership entails. If you already have a dog, you need to consider if you are fulfilling all your obligations as its owner.
1.Recognize the Commitment
Dog ownership is not something to be entered into lightly. Owning a dog is a long-term emotional and financial commitment. Before deciding that a certain dog is right for you, you must make an honest assessment as to whether your home is right for any dog.
2.Evaluate Your Lifestyle
If you get a dog, he (or she) will become a part of your life. You need to make sure that he's suited for your lifestyle. For example, if you are athletic, you will probably not be happy with a dog that has a low energy level. If you are extremely neat, you will probably want a dog that doesn't shed much. All aspects of your family's life - hobbies, activities, personalities, schedules - should be evaluated before you get a dog.
3.Make a List
Based on your evaluation, determine what qualities you want in a dog. Consider size, energy level, grooming needs, trainability and temperament. Do you want a guard dog or a lap dog or BOTH? Is it important that your dog get along with children? If you rent your home, are there restrictions on height, weight or breed? Answer these questions now - once you bring a dog home, it can be heartbreaking to realize that you made the wrong choice.
4.Consider an Older Dog
Puppies aren't for everyone. Consider adopting a re-home case and you can forget the housebreaking, the puppy teething process, the spaying or neutered financial burden, and some of the other annoying puppy behaviors. A young/adult dog would be honored to be a member of a stable family. So check with your breeder to see if they have any dogs available most times these dogs are just the victim of circumstances through no fault of their own.
A responsible breeder or rescue contact will ask you extensive questions about the type of home you can offer a dog. These people are as committed as you are to making the right match between you and a dog. Give honest answers to their questions. Remember that, due to their experience in the breed, they know what issues are important in placing one of their dogs.
6.Prepare to Wait
Availability varies. Be aware that a puppy or dog of the breed you've decided on may not be easy to find. Responsible breeders do not breed often, and many times the puppies of a planned breeding are already spoken for. Respsonsible breeders are NOT puppy mills and are working against Mother Nature. But remember that a good dog is worth waiting for.
7.Get It in Writing
Information about the sale or adoption should be in writing. The contract should include, for example, details regarding any fees, spay-neuter agreements, health guarantees, terms of co-ownership, and restrictions on breeding, and living arrangements. It should also include instructions on what to do if the dog, despite your best efforts, simply doesn't work out for you or your family. Most responsible breeders will insist that the dog be returned to them.
Remember an animal is a lifetime commitment and should not be taken lightly. Everyone loves a puppy but having your dog live out its entire lifetime with you is the best reward you can give them, so STOP and THINK are you committed to providing a LIFE TIME of love and care for your new family member.
He will be your friend, your partner, your defender, your pet.
You should be his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion!