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Friday, July 3, 2020

Would I Be A Good Dog Owner?

Contributed/Collaborated Post:

It’s impossible to think of something positive about the global pandemic. However, a lot of households that have gone into lockdown or self-isolation since March have started to reconsider some of their lifestyle routines. The first and most significant event that has driven new decisions is how much staying at home has impacted the environment. More and more people have decided to reduce car rides as much as possible as a result. So, you’ve probably spotted more bicycles in town! And it’s a good thing, as we need to work together to reduce air pollution.

The second consideration for households may be more surprising. A lot of people who have never felt the need for further companionship are now wondering about adopting a dog. Some shelters have experienced an increase in pet adoptions since the beginning of lockdown. If you’re considering having a dog or a pup and you’re unsure whether it is the right decision for your lifestyle or your temperament, there are some things you need to understand. You’re probably familiar with the saying ‘a pet is for life not just for Christmas’. This remains still very accurate. During self-isolation, the idea of having a pet can seem exciting. However, you need to make sure you’ll be able to look after your pet and make them feel loved and cared for even when you’re back to work. Here are some thoughts to help you make an informed decision and figure out whether you’ll be a good dog owner.

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You have to make time for your pet

Right now, you can spend all day with your dog at home. However, as soon as businesses are ready to open safely and welcome their teams back, you may have to head back to the office. What will happen to your dog while you’re at work? Some options can improve your dog’s day. Most towns have doggy daycare services available so you can make sure your dog is looked after while you’re working. Some employers are also happy to welcome dogs at work, so it might be worth discussing the option with your employers. But at the end of the day, regardless of who is caring for your pet during working hours, you need to be ready to make time for your dog. You should schedule time with your dog every day. 

You love dogs, all sorts of dogs

Historically, people and dogs have built a long relationship, as they evolved together throughout hunts, companionship, and protection services. For a lot of people, loving dogs is written in our DNA. There wouldn’t be such a rich history if dogs weren’t part of it. As a result, it can feel natural to think of dogs as companions, partners, protectors, and loyal friends. But be careful to assess your affection for dogs realistically. As much as you find dogs cute or attaching, you also need to feel comfortable in their presence. If you get nervous when you see larger breeds of dogs or face loud, barking dogs, you may find it hard to manage your dog or walk your dog in dog-crowded areas. 

You’ve already been looking at dogs

While it’s not a sure giveaway of your abilities as a potential dog owner, when you’ve already been researching the best options to adopt a pet, such as falling in love with puppies for sale (https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-puppies-for-sale) or getting in touch with shelters, you’re already half committed. Most people who start research about dog adoption tend to also educate themselves on how to look after a pet. They often have a list of the best pet insurance, pet food brands, and pet toys, which they refer to when they’re ready to commit. Ultimately, the bottom line is that if you’ve already done the research, you’re probably ready to become a dog daddy or a dog mummy because you’ve familiarized yourself with the responsibilities, risks, and challenges – and you decided that you still wanted a dog!

You’ve got a huge garden

Your dog needs plenty of exercise during the day, both physical and mental. How much exercise is safe for your dog will depend on their breed, age, and health. But the fact is that dogs shouldn’t stay at home all day. They need to spend time outside, walk, run, and play. If you want to adopt a dog, having a garden is already a considerable advantage, as you can encourage your dog to go outside safety during the day. However, don’t assume that having a garden means you don’t have to take your dog for a walk. You should walk your dog at least once a day if you have a garden – more often otherwise. Walking your dog is an essential bonding exercise between your pet and yourself. It helps to build your relationship. It’s nothing you should ever skip when you adopt a dog! 

You have to act like a ‘parent’

You are not your dog’s parent, and by no means is a dog a replacement for a child. But you need to establish a clear set of rules just as you would with a child. When you create rules, you set your authority, which will define your relationship with your dog. Like with a small child, consistency is key to achieving positive results. You can’t let your pup sit on the sofa because you think it’s cute and forbid them access in later years. 

How would you imagine your ideal holiday?

As soon as it’s safe to travel again, you’ll be ready to visit all the countries on your bucket list. You’ve already planned the perfect program through Europe to visit some of the most famous sites in Italy, France, Germany, the UK, and Spain. It’s going to be a fantastic trip, and you can’t wait for travel restrictions to ease. 

Except that if you’ve got a dog, you can’t exactly take your furry friend with you. Are you willing to compromise and create a new travel plan that would work for both of you? Families who have a dog tend to spend vacations in pet-friendly areas that are easily accessible by car, so you can make the journey more comfortable for your pet. While it doesn't mean you can’t travel abroad, you need to hit the right balance. When you're abroad, someone else will have to look after your dog. Prolonged absences can cause stress and anxiety for your dog. 

You are responsible for the life of another being

Adopting a dog means accepting new responsibilities. Your dog depends on you for all his needs: health, happiness, wellbeing. If you don’t have children, it is likely going to be your first experience with that level of responsibilities. As a dog owner, these will be some of your daily chores: 

  • Ensuring your dog gets food and measuring how much food they should get. Too much or too little could affect your pet’s health. Depending on health or dietary restrictions, you may need special food supplements. 
  • Walking your dog regularly. In some areas, you need to pick up the dog’s poo and put it on the trash, so be sure that you are willing to do that each time you take your dog out. 
  • Grooming and washing your dog frequently, either with the help of a dog spa specialist or by yourself at home. Left ungroomed, some breeds can develop knots and dirty tangles in their fur. 
  • Monitoring your dog’s health, as your dog will have ways of letting you know that something is not right. You don’t want to ignore symptoms and complaints. 
  • Bonding and playing with your pet. 

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But I already have pets!

Can you become a dog owner when you already have other pets? Many households have cats because, due to their independent nature, cats appear much easier to care for. But you may be concerned about bringing a new furry friend to your home. Contrary to common belief, cat owners can safely adopt a pup or a dog as long as they understand how to introduce the new pet into the household. Start by separating your puppy from your cat(s), leaving a door between them. This will allow both pets to get familiar with the scent of the other while feeling safe. You can also add pheromone products to ease the transition. Gradually, you can introduce face-to-face interactions, keeping your pup on a leash or holding him so your cat can get close without fear. 

I’ve got allergies

Allergies and dogs don’t seem to be a match made in heaven. But many breeds are great for people with allergies. Some dogs are hypoallergenic to some extent, which means that with regular bath and grooming, you can reduce risks.

The Bichon Frise, for instance, is a gentle dog who doesn’t shed. The hair requires regular trimming to stay clean and avoid mats, but it’s a great pet if you’re worried about allergic reactions. 

Loving dogs or wanting to adopt a pup is no guarantee that you will be a good dog owner. As mentioned, a dog means responsibilities. It’s important to understand that you also need to reorganize your lifestyle to accommodate a dog. It can take time to get things in the right place, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Sometimes, it’s best to give yourself a few months or another year to become the best dog owner you can! 


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