According to the Chinese lunar calendar, we are now beginning the year of the dog. As with such customs, it is inevitable that some people may impulsively seize the chance to get some cuddly animals, like with the year of the rabbit. Inevitably though, many young animals get abandoned once the “honeymoon” period is over.
In a recent Swedish study that looked at more than 3.4 million individuals whose medical and pet ownership records, it was found that dog ownership had a dramatic effect, especially on those living alone. Having dogs help to reduce stress and promote a healthy lifestyle.
However before you stop reading the article and head out to a pet store to get a oh-so-cute puppy, keep in mind their habits too, e.g. behavioural issues, toileting problems, the chewing of furniture, clothes, slippers and whatnot, all those hair on the sofa and floor and everywhere in the air, and frequent barking (frequency and noise level dependant on the dog breed) and so on.
The bottomline: Keeping a dog is like having a child.
Like a child, the dog is completely dependent on you. You have to care for it, feed it, monitor its health and so on. A child eventually grows up and becomes independent (or not), but the grown up dog is still relying on you, yes you, all the way until death.
Before you say yes, look hard at the part-and-parcel of keeping a dog:
- Care – Who is caring for the dog? What about its feeding schedule? Is the dog left at home for a long period of time? Any health (allergy) issues on the owner and family members?
- Cost – Cost for food, utensils, training, licensing, tags and collars, shower and grooming equipment and vaccination.
- Lifestyle – How does a dog affect your current social lifestyle?
- Space – Is your space for the dog breed sufficient for it? How about the weather?
These are just a few concerns. There will undoubtedly be more. You have to be prepared for it.
Besides going for puppies, you may also consider adults, especially adoption. An adult dog would most likely be toilet-trained and easier to keep, as compared to a puppy.
Of course, once you keep a canine companion by your side, be responsible for it. There are too many incidents of animal abuse going around, and we really need to remember we should be a better species.
When looking to adopt a new dog, the most important thing to consider is always the energy of the dog and how the dog will fit in with your lifestyle and your family.
~ Cesar Millan
© LOOMI Group 2018
This article is first published on loomigroup.com
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