OFTEN I am asked ‘What is the best age to get a dog for my children? Cats and Dogs are not toys I recommend you reconsider when they are teenagers.
The decision to buy or to adopt a dog is not one that should be taken lightly. It is a serious commitment and there are several factors to consider. Are you really ready to have a dog? As fun as dogs can be, it is a serious decision. You are planning to take responsibility for a living creature that is completely dependent on you. Dogs require food, shelter, health care, exercise, attention, love, time and money. If you’re not completely prepared to provide all of these things, you’re not yet ready to own a dog.
Your lifestyle should be probably one of the biggest factors to consider when planning to get a dog. All dogs require attention, but some need much more than others. If left alone, these dogs will not do so well and are more likely to destroy items in your home. The same can be said for exercise. Some dogs require much more time to run around, while others can get by with less physical activity. If you’re the type of person who is away from home more often than not, you should choose a dog that will manage well in your absence – independent breeds like Dachshunds, Mastiffs, or the Yorkshire Terrier.
Everyone loves puppies. They’re adorable. But how adorable will you think your puppy is when you find him in the middle of a mess that used to be your favourite pair of shoes. Puppies, like babies, require an enormous amount of attention and effort – from housebreaking and socializing to teaching acceptable manners. If you don’t have the time to keep a steady training schedule, perhaps you should look into getting an adult dog. However, adult dogs come with their own “baggage.” Some adult dogs have been abused or neglected. As a result, these dogs have acquired some less-than-ideal behaviours of their own.