It’s so easy to think of all the (emotional) reasons to get a dog. This week expert pet trainer for LeChic Pet and North Bend resident, Melissa Grant, takes us on a journey examining some reasons NOT to get a dog.
Do NOT get a dog if….
- You are trying to recapture the dog of your youth. It’s great to remember the days when you lived on the farm, had sheep and were twelve you had an Old English sheepdog. If you are now 75, live in a condo and have to use a cane to walk, that OES is just not the right choice for you. You can have a wonderful dog, just not THAT dog. Do breed research and find the right choice for you NOW, not for the you from 60 years ago.
- You are on the cusp of a big life change. I know little Danny is going to be jealous of the little brother or sister on the way, but Mom do you really have the time for all that poop? Waiting for things to settle down is ALWAYS the right choice before deciding to add a pet to your household. They need just as much time and attention as a new baby. Don’t short change your potential new pet
- You have to struggle to pay the adoption fee, first vet bill and afford all those supplies. Owning a dog is expensive in the beginning and it can get even worse. Depending on size and health, a dog can cost anywhere from $700-$3500 a year to own. Can you afford it is a good question to ask before adopting a dog.
- You aren’t a fan of exercise in the elements. Dogs need to get out every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. This means a leash walk per day. Throwing a dog out in the back yard doesn’t count. Depending on age and breed, they might even need more than one walk a day. Around here that means you getting wet, the dog getting wet, dog smell, wet towels and blow drying. If this doesn’t sound like a good thing, skip the dog. Which leads me to #5.
- You are a very fastidious person and like your home to be immaculate. This is OVER, like over… over. Dogs drool, shake, scratch, drag their butts, pee, vomit, bleed and drop food. No amount of training can overcome the fact that for all our attempts to anthropomorphize our dogs, they are still animals – messy ones that don’t ever learn to wipe their faces after they eat.
- You enjoy a hassle free life of going on vacation whenever you want. You can’t just pick up and leave at a moment’s notice when you have a dog. Cats do fairly well with a big bowl of food and one or two visits a week. When you own a dog, you have to shell out the big bucks for a pet sitter or beg your friends to take Fido. Neither can be done quickly. They have to be planned weeks in advance. That lifestyle is over.
- You only want a watch or guard dog. Dogs are sentient being with emotions and needs. If you intend to just throw a dog out in the backyard to guard your property, you are bound to have problems. Get a house alarm – in the long run it will work better and not get you in legal hot water.
- You saw a movie and the dog looked really fun. Dogs you see in movies are highly trained creatures. They don’t naturally answer the door or flush the toilet. Dalmatian ownership went through the roof after “101 Dalmatians” and so did the number of dogs in the shelters. Again, do your breed research and make sure that cute dog is well suited to you.
- You want “just one litter.” NO! There are plenty of dog in the world and you don’t know what you’re doing. No, you don’t. Really you don’t. Puppies are super cute, but we don’t need more, full stop. If you don’t believe me go to a shelter.
- Ok I had to end positively and give you one reason to get a dog: