Should I Get A Dog
Should I Get A Dog
Shelby Marlo, CPDT (Animal Behavioral Specialist, Professional Dog trainer) gives expert video advice on: What lifestyle changes should new dog owners expect?; Is it a good idea to get a dog if I have other pets?; Is it a good idea to get a dog before or after I have a baby? and more...
What lifestyle changes should new dog owners expect?
Getting a dog is going to change your life. You're going to have to plan ahead. You have to know you're going to get up earlier if you have a dog. You're going to have to do some exercise. You're going to have to feed and make sure this dog's needs are taken care of, both physically and emotionally. Getting a dog is a commitment.
What are the costs I need to consider before I get a dog?
The costs you need to consider before you get a dog are many. I really believe in a natural, whole type of foods diet for a dog, and that's a little more costly than the grocery store foods. You do have to be in conjunction with your veterinarian. Hopefully you don't have a dog who gets ill and so you aren't going to have that many costs for that. If you are somebody who works out of the house and are gone all day you are going to have to consider a dog walker, somebody who's going to take care of your dog when you are away. It's like child day care. So there are some costs involved with raising a dog properly.
How much of my time does a dog need?
A dog would like all of your time. They are social animals and they would like to be with you all the time. Of course that's not real life. If you can get up and run the dog, walk the dog, take it hiking, do something in the morning, then the good news is they do sleep all afternoon. You get a break. You get to go to work and you get to have a life. In the evening, again, you need to walk the dog or something else. You do have to put a fair amount of time in there and ideally you should give the dog a lot of love at night.
Is it a good idea to get a dog if I travel or work a lot?
If you travel or work a lot, then you want somebody to take care of the dog when you're gone - a walker or a sitter, something along those lines. If you travel and have a small dog, you can take them with you, once they're really well crate trained, and they're well-adjusted to traveling. It's a great experience for the dog and you. Latchkey dogs - dogs that are left alone a lot - are not the happiest dogs on the planet. If you can, at any cost, try to avoid that, because that's not a good way for a dog to live.
Is it a good idea to get a dog if I have allergies?
Whether or not to get a dog depends on the severity of your allergies. If you're somebody who cannot even touch any dog, it's really not going to happen. However, there are a lot of breeds out there - Labradors, Poodles, Cockapoos, the curly-haired dogs - that don't shed as much. It's really the dander you want to worry about with allergies. There's a lot of dander shampoos. You can also take shots yourself if you're really committed to getting a dog. There's a lot of options for a person who's allergic.
Is it a good idea to get a dog if I have other pets?
If you have other pets in the house, it depends on the age of the pets and what their exposure has been in the past as to whether you should get a dog. For example, with my own puppy that I got recently, I have two elderly cats and I really went out of my way to introduce slowly and now they're best friends.
Is it a good idea to get a dog before or after I have a baby?
The situation between dogs and babies is kind of precarious. You know, we all have this dream that the dog and the child are going to grow up together and it's love, love, love and certainly that could be the case, however there are so many variations to this theme. You need to take into consideration that when a child becomes a toddler, they pull and grab at a dog, the dog sees the child as a prey item or as a littermate, so there's a lot of problems that come inherent with the situation. If you have an existing dog, there are many things you can do prior to the baby coming to acclimate the dog slowly to children. If you are considering getting a dog after the baby is born, I highly recommend that you wait probably until they are 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 years old before you get a dog.