A long term commitment | Sunday Observer

A long term commitment

Having a pet means the life and well-being of another living creature is in your hands. The biggest responsibility is love. It can take a lot of time, money and energy. You have to be committed and work hard. Before pet ownership, there are certain things that must be considered such as the pet’s life span, how much time you and your family have to commit to your pet and the costs involved. A dog is a long term commitment. Hopefully he or she will be part of your family for many years. Before you commit to caring for a dog, think about your ability to fulfill these responsibilities.

It breaks my heart to see a pet living with people who rarely pay it any attention. Animals need interaction, companionship and love every bit as much, if not more, than food and water. These are the things that feed its soul, and although they may not be as obvious as a lack of food, going without these emotional needs does a pet just as much harm.

Is there a dog in your family? If so, what does responsible dog ownership mean to you?

Responsible dog ownership can mean a lot of different things to different people.

When you get a dog, it is not like getting a car so that when your dog misbehaves, you can’t just trade him in. If he gets sick, it is your job to help him get well. If circumstances in your home environment change, you must consider the toll it will take on your dog and make every effort to help him along. When you decided to get your dog, you were committing to loving care for as much as 12-15 years or more.

Bonding is not something you can do once and call it finished. The initial bond with your dog is built during the first few weeks to months of ownership, but maintaining this bond is a lifelong process. Remember that while you are at work, out with friends, or running errands, your dog is usually just waiting for you to come home. Schedule time each day to spend with your dog, whether it’s for play, exercise, grooming, or just snuggling.

Our lives can become so busy and complicated with work, family, commitments, children and of course bills to pay. Forgetting to relax and take the time to enjoy the life we have can be a challenge. That’s where pets come into play (literally). Taking time to spend with that animal that we love and adore, it helps us to stop, slow down and enjoy life. Find ways to spend more hours with your favourite beloved friend because the benefits far outweigh not doing it!

If your dog is just sitting there looking up at you, but you’re too busy gawping at someone’s irrelevant snap on Facebook, you’ve got a problem. You do that consistently for weeks, months and years and that can lead to doggy depression and behavioural issues. When we pay more attention to our phones than to our dogs, we damage our emotional bond, making our dogs feel lonely and isolated. So having your eyes locked on your phone could be causing some serious damage to the beings we care about most. It makes sense when you think about it. If your dog is asking for your attention but you’re too focused on your screen, your pet is going to get confused and likely distressed.

Savour and build relationships rather than knocking them down through a lack of attention. Spend quality time with your pets while you can, as they won’t be around forever. When you are with your dog, leave your phone in your pocket, even if you are just trying to update your puppy’s Instagram stories. Your dog needs love and attention. Your dog deserves a good quality of life. He deserves to play a game of tag. He deserves to walk in the sunshine. He deserves to snuggle next to you on the couch.

Before adopting any potential pet, you need to understand what it takes to keep the animal safe, healthy and happy. You need to know what its habits, tendencies and social behaviors are, and whether or not they will mesh with your everyday life. If you’re ready to adopt a dog, you need to research the different breeds to make sure you select one that’s a good fit for your family and your lifestyle. This may seem like common sense to some of us, but there are still dog owners out there who do not seem to understand. Carefully consider your lifestyle and family situation and choose a dog that suits you. Assess the amount of time you have to interact with and care for your dog. Other family members may share the responsibilities, but be realistic about just how much help they will be.

Every dog owner should know that dogs are high-maintenance pets that cannot be left alone for long periods of time and that spending plenty of time with your dogs is vital for their happiness and wellbeing.

Dogs by nature are pack animals and need exercise and affection. Most misbehaved dogs simply have not been trained or do not receive the regular discipline and activity that they need. Dogs are social beings that crave human contact and it’s your responsibility to provide it.

Never impulsively add a member to your family. Do your research so that every adoption is a happily ever after!