The dictionary definition of common sense is as follows:
“Common sense is the natural ability to make good judgments and to behave in a practical and sensible way.”
We use common sense every day whether at work or at home but I sometimes wonder how much common sense we use when it comes to our furry friends.
For instance, if you are thinking about getting a dog, have you considered factors such as:
Do you live in a home large enough to accommodate a dog?
Do you have time for a dog?
Can you afford a dog?
Do you have young children?
Do you have other pets?
Once you have answered these questions it’s time to once again use your common sense and do some research to find out what breed fits your lifestyle before you decide on your new best friend.
Let’s first consider where we live. If you are in a condominium suite or townhouse unit, it’s best to check the by-laws associated with your home. In most cases, condominiums limit the size of a dog to 25 pounds and under in which case you should start researching the smaller dog breeds. That being said, you should also consider whether the breed you choose is considered a “yappy” dog or is more reserved and quiet. Pugs are generally a very quiet breed while most terriers tend to be barkers. Do your homework because, if you find your dog is barking excessively, you may be forced to get rid of him. This also applies if you are renting a house, so be sure to check with your landlord before making a decision on a pet or pet ownership.
If you own a home and have a large property you may have more options as to the size and breed of dog you wish to own. However, you should also look at your lifestyle. A breed such as a border collie requires a lot of exercise and, if you are working long hours and cannot devote a lot of time to your dog, then this breed is not for you. So again, do your homework to see which breed of dog is best suited to you.
When you do choose your pup, you should consider crate training which will help to prevent chewing and is also a great aid in toilet training. You should also be sure that your property is fully fenced so that your new best friend cannot escape. If you are looking into fencing your property, be sure that there is no way your dog can dig under the fence and find a way out.
Does your job keep you away from home for long periods of time or is your schedule pretty consistent? This is also a very strong point to consider. If you are working long hours or find that you may not always make it home as planned, you should consider hiring a dog walker to get your pup out at a regular time each day or, alternatively, find a doggy day care to use while you are working.
One of the most important things to consider when getting a pup are the costs involved. Not only do you have to feed your dog, but you must take into account the cost of going to a vet. Initial visits will include shots for distemper, rabies, etc and later on for spaying or neutering and annual checkups. Your dog should also be licensed which is renewed annually and you should be financially prepared if your dog gets sick or requires emergency treatment.
You will also need to choose a good quality food for your pup. Your breeder or vet can give you some advice in this regard but, in any event, be sure your pet is getting a food which will ensure good growth and development of his body and coat. Certain breeds of dogs tend to have more sensitive systems than others so, while it may take some trial and error on your part, use what works best for your beloved pet.
Whether you are a seasoned dog owner or this is your first time owning a dog, it is highly recommended that you enroll yourself and your four legged friend in obedience classes. Given the proper guidance and training, you will have a well behaved dog which you will enjoy walking with and showing off to your friends.
Each decision you make concerning your dog should be made with the welfare of your dog and your family in mind. Common sense decisions will help you and your family get past the day to day frustrations that all dog owners experience so you can develop the relationship you imaged when you brought your new friend home to his new environment.