Having a canine companion is great for your mental health. According to experts, a doggo by your side triggers the activation of the same neural pathways that make possible the life-affirming bond between parents and their babies. Also, your furry friend’s presence can reduce whatever loneliness you’re feeling, even if it’s a manifestation of clinical depression.
Yes, a dog might seem like a more tempting alternative to Prozac. But you have to keep in mind that deciding to bring home a canine companion is a commitment, not a cure. It entails a huge responsibility. After, you’re dealing with life here. Not some fluffy toy. Once your loneliness disappears, you cannot just get rid of your pup. That is unless you’re a horrible person. And we believe you’re not.
So before you bring home your new housemate from the rescue center or pet shop, make sure you’re ready in all aspects. Here are considerations to look into.
Does your house have enough space?
Your dog needs enough room to run around. If your house has limited space, you don’t have to be dog-deprived altogether. What you can do is bring home a small dog breed like a Shih Tzu, Maltese, or Terrier. These pups won’t take too much space.
On top of your available space, you also need to be aware of the rules set by your estate developer. Make sure that dogs are not prohibited in your building or townhouse. You can’t possibly keep your dog a secret.
Will you have enough time to bond with your pet?
A dog is not a decoration for your house. It’s a breathing and feeling creature that requires your attention. And attention does not mean you saying hi and bye every time you arrive or leave the house. Attention means you playing with your pup,taking them to a nearby dog park every weekend, and scheduling puppy dates with other fur parents and their pets.
If your pup does not get the attention it needs, it will become sad. Yes, dogs are susceptible to depression too. Be a good fur parent and raise a happy pet by making time for your doggo.
Are you allergic to fur and dander?
It’s absolutely frustrating to be a dog lover who happens to be allergic to fur and dander. The latter refers to the skin flakes caught in the tangle of your dog’s coat. Both fur and dander can make you sneeze like crazy if you’re allergic to them.
Here you have one viable option. Choose dogs that are hypoallergenic, such as a Bichon Frise, American Hairless Terrier, or a Poodle, among others. To be extra careful, make sure you religiously adhere to your dog’s grooming schedule. And keep your allergy meds at hand.
Is raising a pet within your budget?
Raising a dog is pretty much like raising a baby. The only difference is you don’t have to send your doggo to college. That does not mean a pup is not costly. Because it is.
Your doggo needs regular visits to the vet. That is if you want to ensure that it’s healthy at all times. You also need a sufficient supply of dog food, treats, and toys. You do not have to spoil your dog too much that it grows into an adult dog who’s out of touch with social realities but you do not want to be stingy with your canine companion either.
Are you motivated by the right reasons?
This must be emphasized again and again. Bringing a dog home should not be a decision brought about by your whims. It should be a decision brought about by careful thought and planning. You cannot just ditch your pup on the street the minute you realize you’re not fit to raise it. Even surrendering your pup, who’s likely gotten close to you already, to a friend or relative will be just as cruel.
So if you’re not totally confident with your capacity to care for another creature with empathy and consistency, skip dogs. Please find another hobby.
One last consideration you have to make is whether to get a pup from a breeder or a rescue center.Obviously, the ethical choice here is the latter. There are many dogs out there in line to be put to sleep because they don’t have humans willing to care for them. Be an angel to one of these dogs. You’ll be rewarded by the most grateful puppy stare every time you come home tired from work. The love and loyalty your rescue dog will shower you will be unparalleled.