Surprised to see the title from a pet parent who dotes on her dog? Well, it’s true. I am amazed that so many people get pets without giving much thought to the decision leading to disastrous situations, mostly for the dog. It makes my blood boil to see how much abuse pet owners subject their dogs to and the poor, voiceless creatures have no one to stand up for them.
Yes, my Coco, is a fantastic pet. He is a member of my family who truly makes all of us better people. But, I also had a Yorshire Terrier, way back in college named Brando. Very few people among my current friends have heard of him. As kids, my siblings and I absolutely loved dogs. But my parents, though they were dog lovers, did not let us get one till much later in life. I was in college when we got Brando, and it would be an understatement that we spoiled him like crazy. He was an angel that could do no wrong. Our love for him was so blind that we did not get him trained or neutered. And once he turned over a year old, he started biting, actual flesh wounds that bled. He had a genetic defect due to inbreeding. We got to know that all his brothers and sisters had the same trait.
But loyal and loving as we were, we did not have the heart to give him back or away. So we stuck it out with him, even justifying how we must have done something to anger him. We still loved him but it got increasingly difficult to take care of him. We had to muzzle him and get the vet to clip his nails and even give him a bath. He lived for 10 years and we suffered having him at home but never abandoned him or threw him out. That is because we don’t bring a dog home as a disposable being who can be used and thrown as needed.
With Coco, things have been more idyllic. He is clearly one of the best-behaved dogs around, and we get a lot of compliments for being wonderful pet parents. We always pick up after him and he is so loving and friendly with everyone.
So now I get to my moot point of not getting a pet home unless you have considered these:
A pet is not use and throw
I can’t stress this enough. Please know the responsibilities that come with having a pet at home. Just like little children, they need a lot of time and energy to train them and take care of them. If you don’t have the bandwidth, don’t get a dog home. But please don’t think that abandoning them as an option. It is downright cruel to leave a pet dog on the streets to endure a painful existence and death when they have no idea how to live on the streets.
Bring your partner on board
In my gated community, I have seen homes where the husband is a dog lover while the wife not so much. Considering that many of the stay-at-home wives are the ones who have to look after the dog, it is not fair on them or the dog to force your choice. Such dogs are given no love and attention. They are often tied outdoors, in the balcony or on roof tops where they bark their heads off in the hope of some social interaction. The cruel owners think it is perfectly fine to just give them food and consider their jobs done. Their pets create a nuisance for others and lead a miserable life themselves and for what? You guys should be ashamed to call yourself pet lovers.
Pets are high maintainence
Dogs need a lot of time and energy. When you bring a puppy home, it is like having a baby. You have to worry about the meals, training them to pee and poop outside the home, give them a bath, groom them, love them, take them for walks, take them for vaccinations, tend to them when sick, take them out regularly and so on. If you don’t have enough stamina or time for all this, please don’t get a dog home. They also need lots of room to move around and for exercise so remember that if you bring in a pet in your home.
If you or your children have allergies from dog hair, then please don’t get a dog. You can’t get yourself adapted to something you are allergic to.
Dogs are social beings
Don’t bring a dog home to tie him outside the home or on the terrace. Dogs love to be around family members. They don’t expect from you fancy bedding or expensive food but they want your love and company. Please don’t get a dog home if you travel a lot or have no one at home for long hours.
Dogs are expensive to keep
Just like having a child at home, dogs have heavy expenses. Food, vaccination, vet’s fees, supplements, toys, supplies etc. all cost money on a regular basis.
Your travel and daily routine will need to accommodate the dog
If you like sleeping in late or are out for long hours, don’t get a dog home. Your dog generally needs to be taken out sometime early in the morning and many times during the day. You will have to find a good boarder when you travel and those are expensive as well. If you travel for very long durations, again you will find it expensive and a little heavy on your heart to leave your pet behind.
Short life spans
We get attached to our dogs immensely and they leave a gaping hole in our lives when they go. Sadly, they do have very short lives that none of us can do anything about.
Research the breed
This is very important. Labrador Retrievers are a very friendly breed who are very good with children. I wanted that since I had young and naughty kids. Smaller breeds are naughtier and perhaps not as good with kids and so are watch dogs. Research the breed well before zeroing in on one.
Adopt or buy
It is only of late that I am aware of the cruelty that happens to breed dogs. Some of the breeders are very inhuman in the way they breed for profit. The best would be to adopt a dog and give them a loving home. If you have to get a breed then try and source them from genuine people and dog lovers. Avoid breeders and pet shops. There are many FB groups that you can join for your city that regularly put out updates for rescued dogs and other dogs in need for adoption.
So the next time your child pesters you to bring a dog home or that cute puppy on the street looks adorable, don’t give in to an impulsive decision, think out the various parameters mentioned above and make an informed choice.
Your dog will light up your life and will give you many times more than you ever spend on them. Just give them a happy and loving home. Please don’t ever abuse or abandon your pet. Remember they will give their life for you! Please don’t treat theirs shabbily.
Pinnable image courtesy Shutterstock