A Dog is for Life,
not just for a Holiday
Thinking About Getting a Dog?
So, you think you would like to purchase a dog. Owning a dog is a responsibility that can be the beginning of years of happiness or the beginning of an overwhelming relationship. Consider these questions seriously and honestly to help you determine if you are ready for such a job.
Do we really want a dog?
Can we afford to keep a dog?
Will we make time to train, groom, and exercise a dog?
Will a dog fit into our lifestyle today and years from now?
If you have answered, No, or, I don't know, then this is not the time to welcome a dog into your home.
If you answered, Yes, continue to investigate your options. Why? A recent survey indicates that 90% of pet owners hug their pet daily, 89% played with them daily, and about 65% groomed their pets at least once a week. However, 30% of dog owners have removed a dog from their house because of problem biting, and 85% report some behavior problems, yet only 19% take their dogs to obedience training! Fourteen percent of dog owners do no take their pet to the veterinarian for annual vaccinations, and only 29% visited their veterinarian when their pet had a health problem. Therefore, talk to the experts at the veterinarian's office, SPCA, Humane Society, animal shelter, American Kennel Club, local breed club members, and friends. Ask them about their experiences and responsibilities of owning a dog.
Did you have a breed in mind? Remember to consider the dog's lifestyle. Each breed has been specifically developed for unique characteristics, temperament, and interests. Are you aware o f puppy-mills and some of the inherent problems for these dogs? Where will you look for your new family member? Think about the size of your house or apartment. Many landlords do not permit dogs, or will ask for a pet security deposit. Think about the amount of space needed for appropriate exercise. Is your yard fenced? Can you afford to install a fence? Can your budget include all of the care that a dog requires and deserves? How much will it cost for food, toys, bedding, crates, leashes, bowls, training classes, vaccinations, routine visits to a veterinarian, other medical considerations?
It is best to make an educated decision; it is okay to change your mind about which breed you want or if you want the responsibility of owning a dog at all, before you buy the dog. A dog is more than man's best friend, it is also a huge responsibility for many years to come, and a holiday is not the appropriate time to bring your new friend into the family. If you have decided to get a dog, consider a symbolic gift at this time-a leash and bowl- while you continue your search for your perfect dog.
We recommend the following references for you to investigate:
A New Best Friend - Where Do I Begin? Available from the Women's Humane Society at (215)750-3100 ext.241 (There is a nominal charge for the booklet.)
The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Dog Love by Marion S. Lane
Doctor's Foster &Smith's on-line pet care infocenter: www.peteducation.com
Humane Society of The United States: www.hsus.org
American Kennel Club: www.akc.org
Petfinder postings: www.petfinder.org
The Delaware Valley Weimaraner Club's Rescue Committee has developed this canine awareness flier.
For more information contact the Delaware Valley Weimaraner Club's Hotline: 215 504-0230 or www.dvwc.org - 5/01
** Printed with permission from the DVWC.