The Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Dog
I have been a happy dog owner for many years now. My two Dachshund mixes came to me when they were only 45 days old and have grown up to be two well-behaved, beautiful, and very social dogs.
However, I must say it is not an easy task to raise and train them to be good dogs. You have to have a certain personality in order to be a good dog owner and also be aware of the fact that they're creatures, not products. They cannot (or rather should not) be discarded like used clothing, and if you really want a dog, you have to realize that he'll be yours for the next 10-20 years.
Here are the pros and cons of dog ownership.
- Dogs are fun. They play with you and will run with you.
- Dogs are loyal. They wouldn’t ever betray you. They'll follow you everywhere, protect you, and don’t ask for much in return.
- Dogs will help you get exercise at least twice a day. Through regular exercise, you can lose weight, lower your cholesterol, and decrease your risk of diabetes.
- A dog is not only a pet but a best friend at the same time. Research shows that dog owners fared better when it came to depression, loneliness, disease, self-esteem, meaningful existence, stress, and activity.
- Dogs are great family members and have the above-mentioned positive effects on the whole family.
- Your dog might not be dangerous, but by simply barking, he can keep away a burglar who might think of entering your house.
- Time commitment. A dog is not happy if he doesn’t have daily exercise and can only do his business in the backyard or at the street corner. That is why it is harder to have a dog, especially a big one, inside the city. Dogs need to run, enjoy their freedom, and use their noses in a natural surrounding. So if you don’t live close to a park, forest, or another green area, you should consider not getting a dog.
- Cost. You need to buy dog food, go to the vet at least once a year (provided your dog is healthy), and pay a kennel when you go on vacation. Dog kennels are not cheap.
- Be aware that whenever you go on a trip, even if it is only for a couple of days, you will need someone to watch your dog. Whether a close relative, a friend, or a dog kennel, it needs to be someone who has at least some knowledge about dogs and how to take care of them.
- Training is a commitment. Some people don’t like it if dogs jump on them, especially when their paws are wet or dirty, and it is always useful when a dog is trained to sit. Dogs should get to know limits like what is their food and what is ours, which areas (like the couch or the bed) are off-limits and most important of all, their business has to be done outside (the latter requires a lot of time and patience and needs to be taught from the very beginning to avoid raising a problem dog).
What to Consider Before a Purchase
Before choosing a dog, an appropriate amount of research needs to be done about the different breeds' behaviors, likes, and dislikes. Dogs can be as different as cars; you have the Porsches as well as the Smarts: Porsche drivers won't be happy driving a Smart car (and vice-versa). There are dogs who like water, others who enjoy digging, and still others who love to run long distances.
Consider whether you prefer getting a dog from a breeder or an animal shelter. Animal shelters are full of furballs looking for a loving home.
With proper research, you can be sure to find the dog that is suited to your lifestyle and whose needs will be satisfied in your home.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2013 Jennifer Madison