~ Are you ready for a poodle ? ~
Acquiring a pet is one of the most significant commitments you will make in your lifetime. Accepting the responsibility of caring for another life — a creature that will be totally dependent on you — isn’t something to take lightly.
As loving, committed pet parents, we want to keep our animal companions with us as long as possible, well into old age. Caring for a happy, healthy senior means providing these three basics:
Physical and emotional comfort as your pet ages
A nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate, fresh food diet
Ongoing, regular opportunities for exercise, socialization and mental stimulation
I can’t emphasize enough the need to carefully evaluate your readiness and ability to care for a pet, and encourage you to ask yourself the following important questions before making a decision to bring home a new family member.
9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy a Dog
Even relatively low-maintenance pets require attention from their humans, so if your life is already very busy or you’re not home much, a pet may not be the best idea.
Without social interaction and stimulation, pets tend to develop behavior and emotional problems.
In addition to spending time with you, your pet also deserves to be exercised, played with, trained, groomed, and cuddled. If you come home at night exhausted, you should think seriously about whether you have the energy reserves you’ll need to offer a pet a good quality of life.
Caring properly for a pet can put a dent in your budget. You should think realistically about whether you can afford the cost of a high-quality diet, toys, other supplies, obedience training, wellness visits to the veterinarian, etc.
In addition, your pet could get sick or injured, and you should have a plan in mind for how you’ll pay those vet bills in the event something serious happens to your animal companion.
It’s ideal if everyone in the family or household is onboard with getting a pet. Otherwise, resentments can build and relationships can suffer.
It’s a good idea to involve all members of the household in the decision-making process, openly discuss concerns, and determine who will have primary responsibility for the pet’s care.
Combine a lack of healthy socialization with the potential for negative, fear-based training or a neglectful/abusive first few months, and you have the recipe for a lifetime of dysfunctional behaviors and responses to everyday life in the animal you just got.
Are you committed to a lifetime of “damage control” when it comes to positively addressing negative behaviors and phobias that your newly adopted furry companion may arrive with?
And can you trust everyone in your household to participate in positive training to correct behavior issues?
You definitely need to plan ahead if you already have a pet and want to add another to the household.
Most animals can learn to get along or at least tolerate each other, but there are situations in which it’s just too dangerous or stressful to keep two poorly matched pets under the same roof.
Often it just takes some time and a few helpful tips to put an existing pet and a new one on the road to a harmonious relationship.
Pet ownership means there will be the inevitable accidents and other messes in the house, paw prints on your furniture and bedding, and the random destroyed slipper or other personal belonging.
If you can’t tolerate the thought of a less than perfectly clean house, you might want to reconsider the idea of pet ownership. Even the most well-behaved, well-trained animal companion makes the occasional mess or forgets his manners.
It’s important to think about how you’d like your new pet to fit into your lifestyle. For example, if you do a lot of traveling and want to take your pet along, a small dog is probably a better choice than a large breed.
If you plan to take your pet jogging with you, some dogs are better suited to long runs than others.
It’s also important to think about what you can offer a potential pet. If, for instance, you’re the outdoorsy type who enjoys hiking and camping, those activities have tremendous appeal to miniature and standard poodles but not for toy breeds.
Ideally, you do plan to include your pet in many of your leisure time pursuits, so it’s important to give the subject some careful thought.
While we can’t predict the future, most of us have a vision for our lives that extends years down the road.
Regardless of the type of pet you’re considering, you’ll be taking on a multi-year commitment. It’s important to be reasonably sure your lifestyle will be as pet-friendly in 5, 10, or 20 years as it is today.
Do you have the time to devote to a pet?
Do you have the energy to dedicate to a pet?
Can you afford a pet?
Is everyone in the household sold on the idea of a pet?
Does your prospective new pet come with emotional or behavioral “baggage” you can accept or commit to dealing with?
Will your existing pet (if you have one) accept a new pet?
Are you prepared to prioritize your pet over your belongings?
What kind of relationship do you want with your pet?
What changes do you expect in your life in the next 5, 10, or 15 years?