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Does watching the reruns of Lassie make you want to get a dog? While your pet may not save you from a burning building, a freight train off the tracks, or from the bottom of a deep well, getting your own dog is without a doubt a wonderful experience. Here are a few things you need to know before you choose a canine friend:
- Owning a dog takes a considerable investment of your energy and time. Yes, the experience can be rewarding, but if you are alone and work through most of the day, having your own pet might not be suitable for you. He will be left alone for most of the day and might get severely depressed.
- If your work requires you to be away from home most of the time, and you still badly want a dog, think about investing in a dog walker. And if you are planning to go that route, choose a breed that is not needy. Ask a breeder if you are in doubt.
- The dog you buy or adopt should be suitable to both your lifestyle and your surroundings. If your apartment is really small, it is not practical to have a large breed. You especially do not want the dog to develop physical complications, get bored or destroy the things in the house. Large breeds like The Great Dane need open, outdoor spaces.
- Make sure the dog is comfortable with the climate in your region, particularly if your plan to keep the dog outside in your yard. You don't want to have a Husky in Texas.
- It takes a lot of work to house-train your pets. If you do not want household items chewed up or if you do not have the money or time to train your pup, adopt an adult dog that has already been housebroken.
- If you are going to buy a dog, buy chew toys as well and keep the expensive items (like clothes and shoes) out of the pup's reach. The same applies to medicines and chemicals. Puppies are fond of investigating and trying out everything. So you need to ensure that there are no harmful substances lying around.
- Once you get a dog, make sure you get it vaccinated and neutered or spayed as soon as you can. Also, schedule routine check-ups with the vet. Your dog will live a much healthier and longer life if you do both.
- Get a harness and leash for the dog. The leash needs to be the right length; otherwise, it will hurt the dog during walks, or let it get loose and hurt others.
- Health insurance is an absolute necessity. Consult the vet to figure out the best option.