Not all dogs are created equal

Thinking of adopting a dog?

As a dog owner and general animal lover, I fully support the adoption of dogs. Mine is a wonderful companion, and although he doesn’t contribute to the monthly income and doesn’t help around the house, he certainly adds unparalleled friendship and entertainment value. Adopting a dog is a huge commitment – your four-legged friend could live up to 15 years or more! So before bringing Tiger home, make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions.

Why do you want a dog? Buying a dog because you think it would be cool or because you had one when you were a kid, and you now want your kid to have a puppy probably aren’t the best reasons. Again, this is a big commitment. You’ll be responsible for your dog, not your child – the daily feedings, walking, house training … vet appointments. Your desire and motivation to own a dog must be greater than the work you’ll have to put in to keeping your pupply happy and healthy.

Can you afford a dog?  This number varies with the dog – bigger breeds require more food, and the food cost varies based on quality. Some breeds come with inherant medical concerns. You’ll need toys, chew toys, leashes, collars, grooming tools or a groomer.

Do you have the time? Unlike goldfish, your dog will need a lot of attention. He’ll need walks and play time, he’ll need cuddle time, he’ll need you to be attentive to his needs.If you can’t commit quality time with your dog, he’s sure to act out inappropriately – chewing up your shoes, digging holes, forgetting that he’s house broken. Which takes us to training – you’ll have to spend ample amounts of time training your dog. including socializing with other people and dogs. Your pooch doesn’t have be the next Champion Show Dog or good enough for canine patrol with the local police department, but he should be confident in the basic commands sit, come and stay.

Travel much? Even if you don’t travel often, you should know that boarding a dog can be expensive. So if you don’t have a great friend who can dog sit for you, plan to spend more money on your next vacation putting your dog up for a week at the local dog spa.

Do you have the space? If you live in a 900 square foot apartment on the fifth floor, a St. Bernard is not for you. Make sure that your living situation is appropriate for the dog you are adopting. If you are renting or leasing, better check your paperwork to see if you’re even allowed to own a dog. The greater outdoor living space you have, the bigger dog you can adopt – generally.

These are some tough questions to answer – but it’s better to be honest and realistic. Do your homework. Too many dogs end up in shelters because humans rushed into the dog adoption without considering the responsibilities.  When you do make the commitment, the AKC has an online questionnaire to help you determine what breed may suit you best.

One of the challenges pet owners face is maintaining a beautiful lawn. Dog urine kills grass, they can run paths through your yard, and some are diggers. However, EasyTurf eliminates these common problems plaguing pet owners. Renowned Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan recently endorsed EasyTurf as his artificial grass of choice, and installed 10,000 square feet as his Dog Psychology Center in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Owning a dog is a huge responsiblity, but my four-legged friend is certainly worth my time. They’re not called “man’s best friend” for nothing. Whether or not you adopt a dog, remember that, the authority in artificial turf, compliments your home perfectly.

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