Getting a Dog

Dogs are arguably one of the best companions that a human can find, so it goes without saying that getting one has probably crossed your mind at least once before. If you have gone beyond just thinking about it and have begun to seriously consider the option of getting a dog, then it is important to know what you will be getting into. It is very easy to see the appeal of owning a dog, but there are many responsibilities and commitments that are involved.

For one thing, owning a dog is a usually a 10-15 year commitment, since that is how long a typical dog will live. This means that your dog will be with you through whatever life stages you live through, including dating, marrying, and having children.

Along with this, having an adorable, friendly canine companion around you for so many years will inevitably lead to some attachment. No one likes to think about death, but sooner or later the reality of mortality will come into full view, and you should be prepared to deal with the loss. If you are married with children at the time of your loss, the pain will affect more people than just yourself.

Dogs, just like children, require a lot of your time and attention. Though they don’t need constant attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they do require you to spend at least a few hours a day to play around and exercise outside. Dogs that do not receive enough attention or care may develop behavioral issues.

Dogs will also be very affectionate and will want to be around you for much of the time you are at home. They will even sleep near you when they take naps and may even want to sleep in the same bed as you. Be prepared to take a firm stance on this if you do not want your dog to sleep in the same bed as you do.

On the other side of the coin, not all the time you spend with your dog will be fun. They require you to feed them, give them water, clean them, and pick up after them. Periodic visits to the vet are also something you should be prepared for. Whether it’s for a yearly checkup, an examination regarding an illness, or emergency visits, visits to the veterinarian will cost you some money.

After talking about all of the responsibility of owning a dog, it should also be noted that there is a great deal of comfort, joy, and fun that come with having a dog. They are not nicknamed “man’s best friend” for no reason. After experiencing the joys of having a dog, all of the responsibilities and commitments listed above pale in comparison and won’t even be burdensome when you realize who you are taking care of.

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