Welcome to Southwest Florida German Shepherd Inc. Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 01:09 am UTC

ARE YOU READY TO GET A DOG

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ARE YOU READY TO GET A DOG
BY Erik Hoffer ARE YOU READY TO GET A DOG?
BY Erik Hoffer

I get calls daily from families and individuals who want to get a dog from my rescue. The calls range from people in their 20’s to their deep 80’s and these folks are looking for dogs of all ages, but are they actually ready to take on the responsibility of a dog, regardless of the animals age or theirs?
The key, I have found, is that most of these people have not assessed the costs involved with pet ownership. Cost here refers not only to financial responsibility, but in their personal and family time. If you cannot give an active dog enough mental and physical stimulation, then even the thought of getting a pet should be scratched immediately. GSD’s for example need both. If you can’t get out and walk or exercise your dog daily you will have a frustrated, depressed and possibly destructive and mal-adjusted pet. If you cannot spend quality time with your dog in doing most anything, then why have him around? If you expect to have a healthy pet you also have to consider his annual vet visit, the financial responsibility for any possible illness or condition and the costs of heart worm protection, food, licenses, insurances (both home and on the pet) and supplements, toys and shots to mention a few items.
Pets typically do not come trained. Training is a mandate with any new dog, be he a puppy or a mature dog. Dog training requires both time on your part and financial resources. Training without practice usually yields ineffective results. Training by anyone other than the owner and his family typically yields disappointing results as the dog is then focused on the trainer and not on the owner.
Dogs who come into our lives must also come into our hearts and families and without that commitment you should not get a pet.
The pet must be compatible with your life style, physical ability, living conditions and have an immediate place in your heart. Failure to achieve any one aspect, makes pet ownership an unwise choice. I have been asked my many people whose life styles are sedentary to get a puppy. I typically turn them down. Ownership of a puppy requires a considerable amount of work, time and physical ability, hence if you are not able or prepared to step up to that need for the next 10 years, try and find a more suitable or older pet that more closely matches your ability. For certain people who work long days, leaving a pet to languish in a crate in the home is unfair to the animal. Dogs are not furniture and taken out and used when you have the time. They require family membership and love. Being crated 10 hours a day is not a way for a family member to live. Not that the dog needs 24/7 attention, but walks during the day are as necessary for them as they are for us. Play and engagement enhances both the dog’s life and ours, so those who are not prepared to offer that should not have a pet.
Think about getting a dog before you make any decision. Consider the breed, the size and the temperament of the dog along with your ability to spend the time necessary to compliment both you and your family and your new best friend.