Ownership Guide

The Responsibilities of Dog Ownership

Please ask yourself the following questions, prior to getting a dog:

  • Are you, and all those who live with you, committed to spend 12+ years providing health care, food, grooming, training and attention to a dog?
  • Do you have the time and/or resources available to train, walk, and take your dog to the vet?
  • Are you willing to spay/neuter your dog, as soon as possible, to reduce the chance of an accidental breeding?
  • Are you physically and economically able to care for a dog?
  • Are there lifestyle-altering events that could occur in your foreseeable future? A baby, caring for an elderly family member, a divorce, job uncertainty, etc. And, how would you deal with these changes as they impacted your ability to care for a dog?
  • Is your environment prepared for a dog and/or are you willing to make the investment of time and money necessary to insure that it does? Is your yard, or a portion of it, fenced? If your dog will be outside for any period of time, will you provide a secure and comfortable shelter for your dog? Although you may have a secure and comfortable location for your dog while it is outdoors, dog should not be left outdoors, unattended, for extended periods of time.
  • If you leave your dog alone for long periods of time, will you become angered and frustrated by behavioural issues that may arise (i.e., relieves him/herself indoors; chews up a blanket, your shoes, your favourite chair cushion; barks incessantly, causing your neighbours to become angry or, perhaps, even call animal control on you; etc. Do not plan to leave your dog outdoors or in a garage all day while you are away! If this is in your plans, I suggest you revisit the question "Why Do I/We Want a Dog?"
  • Do you travel frequently? Will it be difficult for you to find quality care for your dog when you are away?
  • Do you really LOVE dogs? If you are truly motivated by your love of dogs, or a particular dog, you most likely don't need this questionnaire. You've done your homework and are ready for a lifelong commitment. You will train and play with your dog, provide appropriate veterinary care and nutrition, you will bath and groom him or her, happily, and the occasional behavioural problem won't throw you for a loop.

Closing thoughts

All dogs require socialisation, training, a secure, comfortable and safe environment, grooming and health maintenance, professional vet care, a quality diet, companionship and most importantly, attention and love.