Dog Days and Canine Connections–What You Need to Know About Getting a Dog

getting a dog

getting a dogAccording to the adage,  dogs are man’s best friend, and many dog owners can attest to that. Dogs are unstintingly loyal, intelligent, and provide great companionship. If you have a rough day at work, your dog will not ask you questions or give you a long monologue about the trials and tribulations at the supermarket, but will simply be there and listen if necessary. Dogs tend to be pretty low maintenance and can handle almost anything as long as they are with their beloved owner. Even if your friends ditch you, your dog can always be relied upon to provide a helping hand, or rather, extend a warm paw. Not everyone likes dogs, but those who do have a loyal friend through thick and thin. If you want a dog but aren’t sure whether to take the leap and get one, take a few things into consideration before making the commitment.

How dogs improve their owners

Dogs are obedient and follow commands well. Many people enlist the services of a dog trainer who can teach their canine companion to fetch, catch and behave. In a sense, dogs can also train people and help them become better human beings. A dog can make a person more responsible because he has to give attention provide for the needs of someone besides himself. Unlike cats, dogs require a schedule and need to be let out at certain times. If you see someone with a contented and happy dog, you know that the person can be relied on by at least someone.

In addition, dog owners tend to be tolerant of imperfections in those they love. Puppies can tear apart a rug or make a mess on the kitchen floor, but a good owner forgives their puppy, cleans up the mess and takes the dog out for a game of catch. People who are inflexible and demand perfection often make poor dog owners. A person who owns a dog demonstrates the need to love and care for something, and these qualities win over friends and even dates. The after work dog walking session may be a great opportunity to meet that special someone because many women like men who own dogs. It isn’t just the dog itself that the woman likes, but the fact that a dog owner has all the qualities many women look for in a partner, potential spouse or future father.

Deciding to get a dog

If you have all of the above-mentioned qualities and the time and inclination to care for a canine, you might want to consider getting a dog. Be honest with yourself about your work schedule and if it allows time to attend to your dog’s needs. After all, dogs are for all the time and not just for weekends when you are free. If you want to have a dog, but don’t feel your schedule allows you the freedom, consider enlisting the services of a dog sitter who, like a babysitter, takes care of your dogs when you are at work for are on business trips. The sitter will come over to your home, feed the dog and walk him as needed in addition to giving the dog attention, petting, and grooming.

Think about the kind of space you have. Do you have an apartment filled with valuable antiques that cannot be broken or an expensive rug? You might still be able to have a dog, but choose one with the right temperament and a dog that is trained. Puppies can wreck havoc on an apartment and valuable objects, and they are more appropriate for a lived-in apartment than a showplace. However, you can have your valuables and your dog in the same area if you choose a breed that is calm and a dog that has been trained.

What kind of dog?

If you have decided to get a dog, do some research on different breeds and temperaments. You can find many apps on pet food websites that provide quizzes to prospective dog owners and can help you zero in on what kind of dog you should get. If you are an outgoing, gregarious person, you can choose an unusual dog that can spark conversation with complete strangers in the park. If you are introverted, pick a familiar breed of dog and one that has a strong connection to his owners such as a German Shepherd or Rottweiler. If you have a few roommates, children, and a lot of people coming in and out of your home, choose an easy-going sociable dog such as a spaniel, a retriever or a setter. Puppies are cute and lively but consider carefully if you want such a young dog. Puppies are notoriously attention hungry and wild, and can tear apart a small apartment. However, if you adore puppies, you may be fine if you are able to oversee the puppy and make sure he stays out of trouble.

Animal shelters are bursting with good dogs that need homes. Always consider adopting an animal from a shelter before purchase purchasing one, unless you are dedicated to the notion of having a pedigree dog. If you adopt a dog from a shelter, make sure it is a healthy dog and one who has had its shots and has been spayed or neutered. Unless you are an expert on training or raising dogs, don’t try to rehabilitate a dog that has not been socialized properly. Dogs with nervous temperaments or that are distrustful of people may not necessarily change once they are in your home. Look for an alert, friendly dog that has the right energy level, and go with your gut feeling if there is a dog you feel matches your personality completely.

A dog can take the edge off of being single and will be there for you in a matter what. Your girlfriend may dump you because you lost your job, but your dog quite frankly doesn’t give a damn, and will always be ready after a long day to go for a walk or to keep you company while you turn on ESPN and enjoy a cold beer.