I want a dog
You have decided you want a dog. Great!
Having a dog as a pet provides proven benefits to the family. This includes improved child development, better health for family members and especially improved health for the elderly. Find out more by following the links. People also utilise the special skills of dogs to help them in their daily lives. You may well be familiar with guide dogs for the blind, but there are many other ways dogs are used to help people with special needs. We generally call these assistance dogs, and follow the link to find out more.
This close relationship between humans and animals is called the Human-Animal Bond.
It is important to realise that this is a two–way arrangement. Both the humans and animal should benefit. DogsTrust is a large UK charity that has a popular slogan “A dog is for life not just for Christmas”.
This highlights that having a dog is a big long-term commitment. Find out more about what your dog needs and how to keep him healthy.
Getting a new dog
It is important to make the right choice at the start. You can aquire dogs from a variety of sources including registered breeders, re-homing centres, pet shops or friends and neighbours. For many people cost is a significant factor, but it is important to realise that the early experiences and care of a puppy may have an effect on its long term health and behaviour. This in turn may make the dog less suitable as your family pet. So it is important to understand the relative advantages and disadvantages of getting a dog from these different sources and so avoid problems. Socialisation is very important and follow the links for more specific information about behavour in puppies and educating dogs.
Not all dogs are the same
Not all dogs require the same things – a Labrador requires more exercise than a Pug for example. Families also vary in their make-up, lifestyle and financial situation. You may have special concerns if you are expecting a baby, or perhaps have a new baby, a young toddler or even an older child. Always choose a dog that best matches your own family’s situation, your hopes and expectations. To get some helpful advice, follow the link to choose wisely.
Being a responsible owner
Being a responsible dog owner not only means you have to provide all the things your dog needs, but you must also ensure your dog is under control at all times and is not a nuisance in the community. It is a sad fact that there are too many dogs in the world today and this impacts on both human and dog welfare. It is inportant that you act in a responsible way that does not increase the problem.