Dogs: A Medium-Maintenance Family Pet.
Requiring just 15- to 30 minutes daily for care and feeding, it's easy to understand why canines are a big hit with the little ones.
And when it come to loyalty and love, these medium-maintenance pets give it back in spades.
Canines go through a golden age at about the middle of their lifespan when they are calm, housebroken.
They no longer chew on your shoes, and they often come when called.
This golden age only lasts a few years, however.
At the beginning and the end of their lives, these gentle pets can be a lot of work.
Puppies need house training, and they need to learn the rules of the house. They chew up everything.
They are rowdy and rambunctious. With a puppy, you
pretty much need someone at home for the first few months.
Fortunately, they are adorable, too, so there’s a payoff.
Older pooches revert to puppyhood in many ways. They can’t hold their bladder as well. Accidents occur. They may need multiple trips to the vet for health problems.
The good news is that by this time, they’re one of the family so you just bite the bullet and clean up after them just like you would for Uncle Harry. (I know, I hope he doesn't need me to, either.)
For the biggest payoff, get a long-lived canine so those golden years will be worth the effort on both ends.
Small breeds tend to live longer than large breeds. On the negative side, small breeds are often noisier and more frenetic than larger breeds.
If you are a control freak who wants to make the very best choice for your home, you may want to consider buying a purebred.
If you have specific requirements, such as one that doesn’t shed a lot, look through breed books for canines that meet those requirements.
Or, if you don’t have your heart set on a specific breed, you can get
great dogs at the pound. And you’ll be doing society and nature a favor.
You can fine one that's calm, hyper, one that will protect your home and family - or a docile creature who simply curls up on your lap.
Whatever you want in a family dog is out there. But realize that large breeds usually need lots of exercise. And they all need a good 20-minute walk at least once a day.
And unlike cats, you can’t just run off for the weekend and leave a pooch. They're pack animals. They need people around.
They also need to be walked, fed, and watered. Frequently. Think about how much spare time and energy you have before you say yes to this pet.
About the Author
Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.