So you think you want a dog, do ya?
If you are thinking about getting a dog the first thing you should do is ask yourself a few questions. Then you still have some homework to do. A well informed shopper is what one needs to be when buying any dog. Have fun with it. See as many breeders or shelters, adult dogs and puppies, as you can fit into your schedule.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Why do you want a dog? What do you want to do with a dog? Do you have a sheep farm to manage or a junk yard to guard? Are you an outdoorsy and active person who wants a dog to do things and go places with you? Or are you more of a couch potato who wants a dog who will lay quietly at your side and relax with you?
2. Why do you think you need a dog? The answer to this question might be dramatically different than the answer to the first question. Needs and wants aren't always the same.
3. Can you afford a dog? Do you have a realistic idea about how much it costs to care for a dog each year?
4. Who is going to be responsible for the daily care of the dog? If the person who wants the dog is not the person who is going to provide the daily care for the dog perhaps you don't need a dog at this time.
5. Do you travel frequently? If you travel often you will have to make arrangements for your someone to care for your dog while you are away. This will increase your expenses and limit your field of suitable dogs. Dogs don't cope as well as cats with being left alone for long periods of time. Dogs coming from pet stores or shelters have a higher than average incidence of separation related anxiety, which can make these dogs hard, if not impossible, to leave alone.
6. Do you and/or anyone in your household have health conditions, like allergies, that could present problems with keeping your dog?
7. Do you have other pets? If yes, then you have another list of considerations. Stay tuned for part two.