The first few things kids think of when the idea of getting a new family pet (namely, a dog) comes up:
1. A fun play partner.
2. Epic snuggling.
3. Walks and new adventures.
The first few things adults think of when the idea of getting a new family pet comes up:
1. There goes all our extra cash.
2. Do we have enough free time to spare?
3. Ultimately, I'll be the one cleaning up and taking care of this animal.
Okay, maybe that's not 100% accurate, but let's be honest, getting a new pet is a huge responsibility and isn't for everyone. Keep in mind that not all pets are the same. A dog may be perfect for one person, but a fish may better suit another. So just make sure you know the workload you can personally handle when it comes to your pet. This will help narrow down your search. For the sake of blog length, I'll stick with talking about pets that require more of your time, such as dogs.
Owning a dog is serious business. An animal's life is in the palm of your hands. You are responsible for giving this creature the best life possible. You are responsible for training, feeding, and walking him/her. You get the point, I'm sure ... but sometimes when you're looking at their cute furry faces in a shelter, you simply throw everything out the window and act on impulse. It's easy to do. Just sit back for a minute, and think about a few things. Make sure you have enough spare time to dedicate. Your dog won't want to live a lonely existence in an empty house while you're working constantly. Perhaps you can bring your dog to work though, or there are others at home while you're not. That would be optimal. Dogs aren't cheap. Good quality dog food can take a chunk out of your wallet. It's just a fact. But don't skimp and get the poor quality stuff. Your dog deserves better. Think about what you spend on yourself and compare it to them. I'm sure, even with buying them top of the line food, it won't come close to what you spend on yourself. Vet bills are expensive too, so you should consider getting them pet insurance or starting a savings account strictly dedicated to their health. As they get older, your vet bills will most likely rise too. Another thing to think about, is if you already have a pet. Will your new pet get along with your current pet? Don't assume they will. It's fantastic if they do, but that isn't always the case. I know from personal experience. Another good question is, what breed is right for your family? Certain breeds require more training, like Huskies ... and Shepherds need a lot of exercise. It's questions like these that will help you determine which breed is right for you and your family. Is the dog you're interested in trained already? If not, are you willing to spend the time (and money if needed) to train them? Many people are dead set on getting a puppy, but many people are also unaware of how much more work it takes to raise one. Just make sure to do your research. Also, what is your living situation like? Are you in an apartment that even allows dogs? If so, do they allow big dogs? If so, will there be enough room for them to be happy? Small dogs require less space. Yeah, I know ... there are definitely lots of questions, but it's important to ask yourself all of these before taking that leap.
So is this new pet really for you ... or for your kid, who's dying to get a new cute puppy? If it's mainly for your kid, you need to let them know about the responsibility of owning a dog and seriously ask yourself if they're ready for it. It's not an easy question sometimes. First off, how old is your child? If they're smaller, will they be able to handle a bigger dog? Dogs grow quickly and will soon outgrow your small child, depending on the dog's size. For older kids in their teens, are they responsible? What are their attributes? You know your kids better than anyone. Will they follow through when it comes to taking care of a dog? Will they be there to feed him/her, take them for walks, etc? Or, will it all fall on you, and if it does, will that be okay, or will you simply give up and get rid of your new family member? Because, if that's the case, don't get a dog in the first place. Own up to your decision and give your dog the best life possible. Another big question to ask your child, is how much available free time will they have to be with their new dog? Are they signed up for lots of extracurricular activities and at friend's houses all the time? If so, maybe a different sort of pet would be better fitting. Ultimately, a dog requires and deserves attention. Most thrive on being social and their entire world will most likely end up being you and your family. So remember that before adopting. It's always good to be fully informed before making a big life choice.
Just so you all know, this blog isn't supposed to hinder or scare you out of adding a dog to your family. I've just known so many people who acquire dogs prematurely before fully understanding the situation, and that never ends well. I wouldn't want that to happen to you or your family. Being "in the know" is important. Also, being honest with yourself about everything (i.e: your income, free time, responsibility) is a must. Some people just aren't ready for a high maintenance pet ... and yeah, most dogs are high maintenance. Trust me! After all is said and done, you'll know what's best for you and your family. Hopefully it all works out and your new "best friend" will be at home and by your side in no time.
Tis the season to be wary; wary of encountering ticks! According to Wikipedia, ticks are nasty little "arachnids, typically 3 to 5 mm long, and part of the superorder Parasitiformes. Along with mites, they constitute the subclass Acari. Ticks are external parasites, living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and [...]
Having a pet is a major responsibility. That's a plain and simple fact. In all honesty, humans should probably have to take some sort of test to be able to have one. Many of us aren't meant to be pet (or human) parents. But, alas, basically anyone can have a pet. All I ask though, [...]
Times are strange lately. Things escalated quickly involving COVID19 and none of us are quite sure how long this pandemic will last. To be honest, it's pretty scary. The majority of us have quarantined ourselves in our homes while the "essentials" are still out there braving the masses (or what's left of them anyway). We've [...]
As most of you probably already know, owning a pet is a giant responsibility. It's one thing to say, "Hey, we should get a dog," and another to actually have one who's demanding all of your attention at every moment. It kind of forces you to become responsible overnight. I've had my dog, Cairo, for [...]
I was told that I should write about the differences between "fostering" a pet and "adopting" a pet. Well, I just finished writing this entire blog and realized that I didn't do that at all. HAHA! I ended up talking about the differences between "rescue dogs" and "shelter dogs." Many people out there aren't 100% [...]
So, I'll preface this blog with a statement; I'm vegan and have been for over 19 years. The Vegan Society defines "vegan" as "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose." The [...]
Okay, so living in Syracuse, NY has toughened me up to cold weather. If you live around the Central NY area, there's simply no way around it. Approximately half of the year is going to be cold and snowy, with temperatures dipping into the negatives. Some bigger name dogs, such as Labs, Huskies, and St. [...]
I went back and forth on a few blog ideas for this week, but decided that I wanted to write about a topic that hits close to home for me. So I'll be talking a little bit about how long your dog should be home alone, what an acceptable amount of time may be, and [...]
This was intended to be a quick blog this week, as it's already the day after Christmas and I'm currently on vacation, but that obviously failed. haha! I'm visiting my parents on Edisto Island in South Carolina with my daughter, Michelle, and dog, Cairo. It's a 14-15 hour trip down here from Syracuse, NY, and that [...]