When you are thinking about adding a dog to your family, it is very important to think of the responsibility. Dogs are a lot like babies in the daily care they must have. Like babies, dogs are not able to take care of themselves and rely totally on the humans for everything. The humans need to know what that care is BEFORE the dog is added to the family. If you are thinking about adding a dog, you have to think of why you want to do that. What are you expecting to get from the dog, and what do you expect to give to the dog?
First of all, you should talk to responsible dog owners and learn more about their daily routines, the health care of the dog, and the nature of the particular dog you have in mind. The decision to get a dog is a big one. Dogs are domestic animals with emotions. They respond to the love they receive and they return that love to the people who love them. They deserve to be taken care of and they deserve caring people to take care of them.
Adding a dog will increase the activities of the members in the household. The dog will need to be walked daily. Walking the dog is an act of love between the human and the dog. It allows interaction and conversation. It is a time when rewards are common for doggie obedience and new tricks. It can be very relaxing for both, human and dog! Walking is not substituted by putting the dog out in the yard, though the dog will enjoy running around in the yard freely.
Cleaning up after a dog is a big responsibility! When a dog poops, where ever it is, the poop should be immediately cleaned up and discarded. It is also important to make sure the dog is always clean. It is always a concern to keep the dog clean. Of course, a dirty dog is not a happy dog, and humans are to blame. A responsible dog owner will want the dog to be clean, free of fleas, and free of debris that is everywhere outside where the dog will run and walk. Poop bags and wipes are good to keep handy while out. Neighbors will appreciate it when the dog owners clean up behind their dogs and not make them have to do it or live with it.
Brushing your dog should be done at least once daily! Whether the dog has a short coat or a long one, brushing will make them feel good. It is another time for bonding and communication. The dog will feel loved and the owner will see the beauty in the dog’s coat. If the dog has long hair, it is more important for the dog to be groomed regularly. Long hair can become matted and create skin problems for the dog. It can lead to increased vet bills, an unhappy dog, and an unhappy owner. It won’t ever be the dog’s fault! It is a responsibility that cannot be emphasized enough!
Dog products – shampoos, conditioners and detanglers, sprays for itch and scents – are essential for the routine care of your dog! Washing your dog’s face daily will prevent the buildup of the discharge. The buildup will get very hard around the dog’s eyes if not cleaned daily. Regular visits to the vet will allow the monitoring, care, and prevention of this and other conditions that affect the health of your dog.
In addition to the shots administered by the vet throughout the life of your dog, there are supplies which are necessary for the safety and care of your dog. The list includes:
- · A crate – used for training and safety
- · Cosmetics – use only those made for dogs
- · Wipes – help with quick refresh and cleaning
- · Brush and comb – especially made for dogs
- · Toothbrush and toothpaste – formulated for dogs
- · Books and articles – for learning about your dog and the care you need to provide
- · Feeding dishes – not plastic
- · Leash and collar – sized for your dog’s size
- · Sweaters and other clothing
- · Toys – made for dogs
- · Doggie bed – choose for your dog
If you are getting a dog to satisfy a child; and the child is not old enough to assume responsibility; you must understand that the responsibility is not negotiable. The dog will still require the care to be given by a human who will be kind and loving enough to be consistent. If there is no one in the household who will be available and willing to care for the dog, DON’T GET A DOG! Instead, get your child a toy! A dog is not a toy, but a life. Every dog deserves to be loved and treated in a humane manner. Anything less is animal abuse! Don’t contribute.