About the Author:
This article is a guest post. It has been contributed by Danial Zaman on behalf of FeedFond. Danial is a senior content writer there. He loves writing about dogs and other animals. This article is a reflection of his experience with his dog Gemmy. Hope you enjoy this!
An aspiring dog owner has a lot of questions going through your mind when you are contemplating on having a dog for the first time.
“What is the best and easiest breed?”
“Will I get a girl or a boy?”
“What will be his name?” among others.
But, the most important question is often overlooked – “Am I READY to have a dog?”
Read on and determine if you have the guts to take on the challenge.
Love & Care
Dogs are like humans, and like any other human being, they start off as a baby. If you want a puppy as your very first dog, then you must assess yourself whether or not you’re a fit parent. If you already are a parent, then good for you! You know the works, the struggles, and the hardships of parenthood. If you aren’t a parent, then there are a few things that you should know.
Puppies, like babies, need a lot of attention. They need the right food, sufficient amount of water, clean environment and tender-loving-care. The same goes for older dogs. You must provide their basic needs in order for them to grow healthy and strong. How you treat your pets will be repaid in kind. So, make sure that you will be able to care for them like a mother takes care of her child.
Patience & Dedication
Having a pet isn’t always rainbows and flowers. There are times that it can get frustrating and annoying. It is true that you love you’re cuddly buddy to the core. But, when you see him chewing on your brand new shoe, or nibbling on the sofa, or leaving you a ‘special’ present showing how much he/she loves you, you will surely lose it.
Dogs need to be trained. There are agencies that train your dog for you, but where’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to train your dog yourself? Not only do leave an impression on your dog, but you will strengthen the bond you share.
Patience is the secret of a great dog owner. There will be a lot of moments that your dog will test you (Oh yes! He will drive you nuts!). There will be instances that you’d feel like giving up. But, hold on. Be patient. So what if your beloved companion still poops inside the house after you trained him?
You didn’t learn how to read the first week your teacher taught you. So, be patient with your dog. Eventually, he will be the perfect little fur ball you imagined him to be.
To be a good pet owner, one must learn how to be tough. No matter how perfect your dog is, there will be times that he will do undesirable things. Stand your ground and don’t give in to those sad puppy eyes. Scolding your dog when he has done something unwanted is a part of training. Just make sure that you do it in a way that you won’t hurt your dog physically. Hitting or slapping is a definite no-no!
Giving your dog rewards is as important as scolding him. When he did something good, give him treats, pat his head, or rub his belly. Let him know how much you appreciate and love him. In the words of Cesar Milan, Exercise, Discipline, Affection!
Nerves of Steel
Hate getting your hand dirty? Well, sorry to burst your bubble. Having a pet is also a messy business. Poop, urine, fur, and fleas – these are common to a dog. And who will clean all of these? Yes, that’s right, YOU! You have to get used to the idea of picking up poop, wiping urine, giving your dog a bath, and even cleaning his vomit. You don’t want your pet to smell bad, do you? Then, put on some gloves and tackle the job head on.
Time & Energy
Dogs have boundless energy. It is up to you how you will exhaust it. Can you handle daily 30-40 minute walks on the beach or sidewalks? Can you throw a Frisbee or a stick? Exercise is important for a dog to be happy and healthy.
There are a lot of cases where dog owners get too busy to properly take care of their pets. As a result, dogs are neglected, shunned, or given away. Evaluate your time carefully. Remember, pets (no matter what species) aren’t toys or things that you can just leave behind. They are living and breathing just like you. Be prepared to invest time raising and taking care of your pets.
Be a Leader
Being a dog owner is not just being a parent. You also have to be a leader. A dog needs someone who can lead him, and he expects it to be you. Step up to the plate or your dog will. Do you want to be lead by a dog? Of course not! So take on the responsibility and man up. Let him know that you are the leader and he is the dog. It may sound harsh, but that’s nature. Don’t think that your dog’s feelings will get hurt; instead, he will thank you for it. The lesser things he will worry about, the more he will become happier.
Commitment & Determination
Having a dog takes a lot of time and effort. It takes immense dedication and commitment. You must know that you are in this for the long run. Do not give up if your dog is behaving badly. Understand that this is a no refund, no exchange enterprise. This dog will be your companion, your best friend. Get ready to give him the loyalty and love he is willing to give you.
If you think you have all the attributes stated above, then you are good to go! Choose a breed, pick a gender, think of a name. However, if you think that you lack a few of those things, there is still time for you to develop the right mindset. Experience and grow each day with your dog. Don’t worry; nobody gets it perfectly the first time. But the best part is, you can grow each day experiencing the joys and hardships of owning a dog.
This article has been contributed by FeedFond. Visit, feedfond.com for more articles on dog care tips and tricks.