There comes that point in every parent’s life, when you have to admit defeat and accept that it’s time to get a dog. After the endless nagging and emotional blackmail that hasn’t ceased since the kids were old enough to have their hearts won over by the neighbor’s unbelievably fluffy and adorable pet – its cold, wet nose poking over and under the fence, sniffing at their butter cookie fingers and whining to be able to lick their muddy faces – you come, also, to be rather excited at the prospect yourself. Remember the days when your friends were getting pets, tiptoeing at responsibility, and you were instead starting a family? This is the moment for delayed gratification and, further, you managed to keep the kids alive: how hard can a puppy be?
Choosing Wisely – Pedigree vs. Mutt
Picking the right breed for your lifestyle is absolutely crucial. If you and your family are homebodies with a minuscular garden (a size that is becoming the norm in modern life), then it makes sense to step away from the Border Collie who was bred to boss sheep around in wide and verdant fields. You know all those people walking tiny dogs that you see when you pop to the store these days? Those dogs are bite-sized for a reason. Not only do they pull less on their leads (though some small breeds have incredible strength in their neck and shoulders), but those little legs require less exercise, those tiny butts make less mess, and their tummies require less food than, say, a Great Dane that couldn’t manage to spin around in most gardens today.
In short, planning to buy a dog is an important decision, and a purebred dog can be a stunning choice – whether they be an intelligent Standard Poodle, Crump’s bullies, or a beautiful Weimaraner – compared to their mutt counterparts. However, to overall decide your new family pet, you should consider your children and, of course, your partner. Do your kids want to be responsible? If so, a smaller dog who is known for being family-friendly could be ideal. If it’s more for you and your partner, then a bigger, more adult puppy could be what the doctor ordered. Whatever you decide, you need to consider your family as a whole – after all, a dog is an investment, not a means for keeping you entertained when you feel bored.
A Forever Home
Before taking the plunge, just remember that a dog is a lot of work. You may be a stay at home mom, but make sure you have time to slot in your puppy’s or older pet’s needs. A dog will never grow out of needing your help with bathroom breaks, it will never get its own breakfast or dinner; it will always need you to book its vet appointments and keep it clean and brushed. However, at the same time, it will never grow too old for hugs and an overload of affection, like some teenagers.