Today is Black Friday. With Thanksgiving over, many American families turn their thoughts to the next big celebration of the season: Christmas. And often, this is the time of year we think about buying a puppy to join the household.
As any dog-owner knows, our canine friends are highly intelligent (some would say “sentient”) creatures, with a surprisingly sophisticated emotional and behavioral life. For that reason, you should think long and hard before buying a puppy for the family this holiday season. Here are ten reasons why:
- A puppy is not an inanimate toy, but a living being. Keep that in mind when planning vacations away from your dog. Like human children, they can suffer separation anxiety when left alone for too long. And remember, a dog can live up to 15 years or longer. Any lengthy separation from the family can cause immeasurable distress.
- Like humans, dogs have the capacity to learn. There is, however, a language barrier (to put it mildly). What seems obvious to you may take a dog longer to understand what you want from it. So the first virtue to remember when acclimating a puppy to its new life with you is: patience!
- And the second most important virtue is: trust. Don’t just “bear with” your pet dog; believe in him! He won’t let you down.
- Discipline is an important part of training. But it is possible to overdo it! If your dog misbehaves, don’t stay angry for long. And definitely don’t make extended isolation a form of punishment. Humans have their work and friends and books and TV to distract them. A dog has only you.
- Remember the aforementioned language barrier? It’s not a bad as it sounds. A dog may not understand all your words, but he certainly will understand your tone of voice. Don’t be stingy with your human–canine conversation. Your dog loves the sound of your voice. The more, the merrier!
- They say an elephant never forgets. The same holds true for a dog. However you treat your pet, that is what the dog will remember. Cruelty leaves scars. Whereas a kindly treated dog is one that repays that kindness a hundredfold.
- It is difficult to imagine a human hitting a dog. Yet people do lose their temper sometimes. When that happens—control the impulse to use physical force! A dog, when trained and treated well, can be as gentle as a lamb. But if it feels threatened or is continuously tormented, all bets are off. A dog may not be able to pick up a weapon and defend itself. It does, however, have sharp claws and a powerful bite. Remember that fact before you hit a dog.
- Despite your best efforts, your dog may sometimes seem obstinate, disobedient, or uninterested in doing anything with you. Before you start scolding your pet, ask this question: could there be something wrong? Dogs can’t tell you if they are suffering from some ailment or other distress. It’s up to you, the human, to discover the reason for this behavior.
- That cute little puppy will one day grow up to be an old dog, subject to the usual pains and limitations of advanced age. But your responsibility to this creature does not end when medical issues start inconveniencing you. Remember, one day you’ll be old too!
- Your dog will love you forever. Never stop loving him back.
As you can see, owning a dog is a big responsibility, in terms of time, expense, and emotional investment. Only get a dog when you are certain you can take on that responsibility 100 percent.
And if you do decide to take the leap, don’t forget the required I.D. and rabies tags for your pet. We have a giant selection to choose from at our online store:
Happy holidays from all of us at Ketchum Mfg. Co.!