A dog in the Family - What you need to know

Before acquiring a puppy the prospective dog owner usually ponders number of option in order to arrive at the sort of the dog which would suit his or her particular life style. The first stage in the elimination process ought to be the very simple but all important question’ AM I the type of person who can cope with a dog? As one major canine charity in Britain says on a car-striker . a dog is for life not just for Christmas. The thought of owing a young faithful dog, eager to join the family on long walk across summer fields, can be persuasive but that is only one of the several aspects a young dog grows old youthful health will probably deteriorate; the rolling fields with grazing sheep’s have warning notices that dogs must be kept on a lead; and the sunshine of summer becomes the sleet of the winter.

Dog ownership entails more than the pleasant company of a faithful friend. It carries with it certain responsibilities, and a number of factors must be considered in order to balance the equation. Basically these factor relates to the economic circumstances and the availability of time space and energy.

Financial Consideration:
Apart from the entail outlay on buying a puppy, or dog, and the basic equipment, there are recurring cost which will considerably effect the household budge, depending on the size and the breed of dog. The largest is without doubt feeding; it is unrealistic to suppose even a miniature dog can be fed a nutritionally balanced diet from table scraps, and large dog will make an appreciable difference to the weekly food bill.

In Britain all the do owners are obliged by law to obtain a license. At present this negligible amount is under review, and it seems possible that increased licenses may be issued by local authorities.

Timing for the family Pet:
As a member of the household, the family dog is entitled to a certain amount of a regular attention, especially as a puppy and again in old age. He needs feeding and exercising every day, frequent grooming with comb and brush, with an occasional bath and care of nails and teeth.

Time must be set aside for the basic training of the puppy, for playing with the young dog and stimulating the activities of the middle aged, and for caring the older, perhaps ailing dog.

Some people seems to think that the possession of a large garden absolves them from exercising the family dog on all but the few occasions when plenty of time is available. As soon as they are let out at the kitchen door, most dog make a nuisance of themselves by disturbing the entire neighborhood for about ten minutes first thing in the morning or late at night by chasing the birds and the neighbor’s cat, or by rushing madly up and down braking at the dog next door. For the rest of the time they lie curled up on the back porch or, worse still, whine and yelp in an attempt to get back indoor. A dogs need organized exercise on the regular basis virtually everyday. Obviously there will be time when it is impossible to get him out of the constitutional, but provided that it does not happen too often, he will forgive. Neither does the exercise have to be of the same duration every day; some owners make a rod for their own backs by sticking so rigidly to the daily routine that the dog become master.

Dogs with long coats obviously need more grooming then short coated dogs. At the same time longer haired breed require different amount of time and effort the beautiful tresses of the graceful Afghan hound for example, will tangle irretrievably if neglected for more than two or three days while the much harsher coat of the Kesshound can do without the brush and comb routine for a couple of weeks provided that grooming is that literally skindeep.

Most dogs shed their dead hairs more or less continuously. Long hair do not necessarily cause greater problems in respect with clearing up hairs from short coated dogs penetrate carpets and furnishing fabrics and defy both vacuum cleaner and brush. The only breed which does not cause such aggravations are those which do not moult, such as Poodles and Bedlington Terriers, whose coat are stripped regularly at dogs parlors some people are allergic to dog hairs and coat dust; anyone with a known history of allergies such as asthma and eczematous skin lesions, should consult a doctor as the possibilities of the complications resulting from the purchase of the dog.

Feeding cost are undoubtedly the most important part of financial equation, while the time factor is minimal in respect of commercially prepared foods.

However cans and dogs packs have to be bought and carried home, which takes time and has to be remembered along with other shopping.

Additional Considerations:
Unless the dog has living quarters in an outside Kennel, the house will almost certainly show his presence. Hairs are not the only evidence. If he has a temporarily upset stomach he may not manage to reach the garden before he is sick or has diarrhea, both catastrophes on unpatented carpets.

Garden fences, other boundaries and gates should be sound enough to prevent the dog from escaping into neighboring gardens and into the road.

Above and beyond all other considerations, the potential owner must have a genuine desire for the companionship of a dog and the willingness to expend care, affection, and loyalty long after the cute puppy stage is past. Every year thousands and thousands of perfectly healthy animals are rejected as unwanted for one reason or another, many of them having to be painlessly destroyed by welfare societies or private veterinary practitioners. In 1982 alone more than 1000 Old English sheepdogs passed through the hands of the breed clubs Rescue organization when owners discovered too late that the television commercials cuddly dog required constant grooming of the coat.

Choice of Dog:
Having made the decision to acquire the dog a number of other questions must be settled before the actual purchase. The most important concern age, breed status, size, temperament, and sex.