Having a dog may not be exactly like having a child, but there are many similar responsibilities that come along with their companionship. There’s more to being a responsible dog owner than simply keeping the food bowl full.
Dog ownership requires time, money, discipline, and devotion. So before you go out to adopt the first dog you find, read through a brief summary of some of the most important responsibilities of owning your very own dog.
The commitment is long term
Adopting a dog as a pet is a long-term commitment. That animal will rely on your for its food, shelter, and emotional well-being for the rest of its life. Domesticated dogs can live well over ten years, so it is important to view adoption as a life-long contract.
Before you dive into the life of a dog mom/dad, it is important that you understand the full spectrum of the commitment. There are far too many homeless dogs to adopt an animal on a whim and change your mind on down the road.
Medical care is not cheap
You should know that a dog is not an animal that you simply feed and water. Dogs often require more medical care than any other domesticated animal, and it is not cheap. Preventative maintenance is also important and expensive.
Not only are you responsible for the physical well-being of the dog, but you are responsible for anything the dog might do to someone else (or someone else’s animal). You are legally responsible for the behavior of your animal.
If it bites someone, or someone’s pet, you could be financially liable for any damages. This is another reason why spending the time to properly train and socialize your dog is super important.
Your dog needs your time
Dogs are not low maintenance animals. They need a lot of your time. If you are a workaholic that doesn’t spend much time at home, you may want to consider a cat. Cats are more solitary and independent than dogs.
Having a dog means time spent on training, walking, bonding, playing, and much more. Your dog will want you to be engaged and interested every day. They are excellent companion animals, but that also requires the owner to serve as an equal companion.
Your dog needs nutrition and exercise
Dogs need exercise. Depending on your dog’s breed, you may need to live a very active lifestyle. It is important to find a breed of dog that best suits your way of life. Don’t expect the dog to change your lifestyle. That may turn out unfortunate for the animal in the long run.
Your dog’s nutrition should also be a featured concern. Your animal will not live as long if you are feeding it the wrong food or excessive table scraps. Remember to throw the table scraps to the pet-proof Aicool smart trash can to keep your dog healthy.
Dogs are not designed to eat everything you eat. Educate yourself on the best way to provide for your dog’s nutritional needs, and enjoy your friend for many years in the future.