Becoming a dog owner is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. If you are about to bring a new canine family member into the fold, we would encourage you to give serious thought to what lies ahead. Here are some things to consider.
Do you choose a puppy or an older dog? There is a big difference, and not just in size. Puppies are cute, but house breaking and obedience training take time and patience. Older dogs, depending on their background and health may offer challenges as well. Hint: there are a lot of rescue dogs out there who are grown up, healthy, and well-trained.
Can you afford to own a dog? Food alone may cost hundreds of dollars a year. Then there are collars, leashes, beds, toys, treats. . and more treats. Not always thought of at the beginning, the biggest expense of all could well be veterinarian charges. Over the years, depending on illness or accident, properly maintaining a dog’s health can cost many thousands of dollars, and many hours of dedicated care. I know.
Roy, our ten.year old puggle, has been through a lot, including back surgery for a herniated disc, requiring months of physical therapy, learning to walk all over again. We had to catheterize him for weeks until he could pee on his own. Just recently he suffered glaucoma, and lost the vision in one eye; almost lost the eye completely. But, he’s doing fine. He eats well, walks over a mile a day – and his tail still wags.
I have taken Roy out at least twice a day, even when it was ten below back in Wisconsin, and when it’s over 100 degrees here in Arizona. I’ve picked up hundreds of bags of poop. I’ve brushed his coat, trimmed his nails, cleaned his ears, and picked ticks out of his skin – and paid thousands for his medical care.
Your dedication cannot wane. I have felt the same love for every dog I’ve owned. I’ve shed long hours of tears at each loss. If you are not completely sure you can make the necessary long term commitment, afford the expense, handle the eventual heartbreak. . .
. . . then think twice about owning a dog.