The Jakarta Post
Yukine, an Akita puppy, plays at a dog breeding centre in Takasaki, Gunma prefecture. Hollywood actor Richard Gere, French film star Alain Delon and Russia's figure skating sensation Alina Zagitova have one thing in common: They adore Japan's Akita dogs. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)
Having a dog comes with many benefits. More than offering companionship, a dog may provide a boost to the quality of our lives. It can motivate us to exercise every day, decrease our stress levels and help us avoid depression among many other benefits. Before you adopt a furry creature, however, you may want to consider the following:
You and your family are willing to make a 10-15 years commitment to care for a dog, which includes taking care of the dog when it’s sick or acting weird. Traveling will also need more careful planning because you need to make sure that the destination is pet-friendly, and there will be extra efforts to ensure a safe and comfortable trip for the dog. If you decide to travel without the dog, a budget for dog boarding needs to be prepared. It’s good if you have a domestic assistant who will care for the dog while you are away. Otherwise, you can leave your dog with a friend who also has a dog and be ready to return the favor.
Does the dog suit the youngest child in the family?
Puppies under five months old or toy dogs weighing under 15 pounds are not suitable for a family with a child under seven years old. These puppies generally have sharp teeth and toenails and they are likely to playfully bite and scratch the child. Meanwhile, toy dogs are more vulnerable to rough and clumsy handling. They are also quicker to bite compared to medium and large dogs.
Different breeds are for different stages of life
A family with elderly or physically challenged member should also be careful with stronger and more active dogs. Choose a dog that fits current physical capabilities and have an eye toward what will happen in the next 10-15 years. The dog breed that fits you might change throughout the years.
Who is the primary caretaker of the dog?
One of the parents of the family has to be the primary caretaker of the dog. While kids may have insisted on adopting a dog in the first place and promise they will help take care of the pawed friend, they may not be consistent because of their developing life stages. However, it is not fair on either the child or the dog to threaten to get rid of the dog if the child does not help take care of the dog.
Read also: Want to live longer? Get a dog
Be prepared for extra expenses
There will be extra spending to raise a dog. Some dogs are given, while the ones adopted from a pet shop are usually more expensive than the ones from reputable breeders. Budget will also need to be allocated for initial veterinary care, neutering and training. Meanwhile, food for the dog could become costly, especially for a large or giant breed. Not to mention the sum you will spend for grooming needs, toys and other unplanned expenses from extra cleaning products to heartworm prevention. (mut)
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