What to Consider Before You Get a Dog

Is a canine companion a good idea? Here are some issues to consider.
Your Lifestyle
Do you have room for me?

Does the way you live have room for a dog? Consider these factors:

Do you work late or travel often? Puppies eat four or more times a day and urinate or defecate at least that often. Adult dogs left alone may get bored or develop separation anxiety, resulting in excessive barking or destructive behavior. If you travel, can you take your pet with you, at least some of the time?

Can you provide a comfortable environment? Descendants of den dwellers, some dogs take comfort in confined quarters. Others, bred to herd or hunt, prefer open spaces. All need shelter from hot sun, excessive heat, cold, wind, and precipitation.

Where do you live? Know and observe contract agreements regarding pets. Apartments, condominium units, and cities have restrictions concerning the size and number of dogs allowed.

Do you have time to train your pet? Obedience training benefits stay-at-home dogs as well as field-event dogs. Well-trained animals stay healthier and are fun to be with.

Do you have time to groom a dog or to arrange professional grooming? Heavy coats require more care than thin coats. Some dogs are difficult and time-consuming to groom.

Do you have the financial ability to provide necessary food, medications, and regular veterinary care? The larger the dog, the more he will eat. Routine vet visits for checkups and immunizations are essential to good health.

Continued on page 2:  Why Do You Want a Dog?