7 Questions Every Dog Owner Should Be Able to Answer - The Dogington Post
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7 Questions Every Dog Owner Should Be Able to Answer

Sharing your home and heart with a dog can be one of the most rewarding, meaningful, and sometimes challenging experiences in your life. It is through a relationship with a dog that many find unconditional love, a unique and unforgettable bond, and a friendship like no other.

But, those rewards don’t come without responsibility.

questions

Before bringing a dog into the family, every potential pet parent should be able to confidently answer these 7 questions:

1. Are you prepared to love and care for a dog for a lifetime?
Nationwide, close to 4 million dogs enter shelters and rescues every year, with a vast majority of those being surrendered or left homeless by an owner that is no longer willing or able to care for them. Depending on their size and breed, dogs are a 10 to 20 year commitment. When considering welcoming a furry member of the family, think about your long term plans and goals. A lot can change in 10 or 20 years – jobs, living situations, and lifestyles. Are you prepared to always include your dog in whatever life decisions you make?

2. Are you willing to give a dog the daily exercise she needs?
Dogs require a significant amount of both physical and mental stimulation in order to be healthy and happy. Veterinarians recommend at least 20 minutes of physical exercise, like brisk walks, jogging, or playing sports like agility or Frisbee, at a bare minimum, every single day.

When deciding to be a pet parent, consider your daily routine. Do you have the time to provide for your dog’s physical needs every single day? If you spend a lot of time away from the home, either at work or traveling, are you willing to employ a dog walker or pet sitter to make sure these needs are met? In addition to physical exercise, dogs need mental exercise, too! At least an hour each day should be spent engaging directly with your dog, either playing, doing training exercises, working through mental games, like treat puzzles, or spending time together bonding.

3. Will you provide the necessary training and socialization?
One of the biggest reasons dogs end up in shelters and rescue is due to behavioral issues. Most often, with proper training, socialization, or confidence building, these dogs can become wonderful, loyal companions. But, it does take time, patience, and effort to help a dog become a good fit for your family. In addition to housebreaking and basic good manners, like greeting people nicely, walking calmly on a leash, and coming when called, a dog will need to be taught how to live harmoniously in your home.

4. Are you prepared for the expenses of dog ownership?
Most new pet parents are surprised by the cost of dog ownership and grossly underestimate what it will really cost to own a dog. The truth is, a dog is a big investment. In addition to providing food, you’ll need a whole slew of basic supplies: food and water dishes, collars, leashes, flea prevention, treats, and toys. And, depending on your own lifestyle and the needs of your unique dog, you may need additional supplies like a dog bed, crate, waste bags, or vehicle restraints. Add to that the costs associated with routine veterinary care, training, grooming, and required licensing for a more accurate estimate of costs. In addition to these regular, basic needs, dog owners should be prepared for unexpected expenses, too, like emergency or illness, doggy daycare or kenneling, and any long term health issues that may arise over the life of their pet.

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