There are a lot of great reasons to add a pet dog to your growing family. For one thing, owning a pet helps to teach your kids a sense of responsibility, and for another, the unconditional love you get from a dog is enough to brighten up even the darkest of days. I love my dogs, and cat for that matter, but sometimes people do not realise what you take on when you bring home a puppy. Unfortunately, owning a dog is not always plain sailing. Dogs, like other pets, often have unpleasant habits, some of which you won’t realise until it’s too late. To help you make the right decision, here is a quick run-down of the things to be aware of about owning a dog.
Puppies and adolescent dogs chew anything and everything. It is perfectly normal behavior, especially when a puppy is teething, but by the time you have sacrificed a brand new pair of Manolo Blahniks and fifteen pairs of sneakers, your patience will be severely tested to the limits.
You can’t prevent a dog from chewing, but you can give him something more appropriate to chew. Plastic or rubber chew toys are good, but since most dogs chew when they are bored, make sure your pooch is kept as active as possible.
Dog poop is the least attractive side of owning a dog. Responsible pet owners clean up after their dog, so get used to carrying poop bags with you on dog walks and days’ out. It is always worth remembering that the larger the dog, the bigger his poop. Can you handle it?
Dogs sometimes get fleas. It’s unfortunate, but life happens. Dogs pick up fleas from other dogs, from cats, and from wildlife they come into contact with. One or two fleas may go unnoticed, but if your dog starts scratching a lot or you end up covered in flea bites, it’s time to treat your dog for fleas. Flea medicine for dogs will treat the fleas on the animal, but you also need to treat your home and any other areas your dog frequents, such as the car or an outdoor kennel. Use an insecticide recommended for fleas and be sure to repeat the treatment every month to catch fleas at every stage of their lifecycle.
Dogs love humans, but if your dog greets your guests by jumping up or humping their leg, it’s embarrassing and inappropriate. Most dogs behave like this because they don’t know any differently. You can prevent this type of behavior by taking your dog to training classes from a young age. Dogs are pack animals and they need to learn you are the pack leader. Once you have this cracked, you shouldn’t have too many behavioral issues.
Dogs in the Garden
Are you proud of your garden? Well, you won’t be when you own a dog. Your once pristine lawn will soon be marked with bald patches and poop landmines and there will be craters in your flowerbeds.
Don’t be put off the idea of taking a dog into your home. For the most part, dogs are wonderful companions and their good points more than outweigh the negatives!