General Information on Owning Pet Dogs

Although I do not own a dog, I grew up with one, and have worked with them while working at an animal shelter. I have also worked with foster care for dogs and have a lot of knowledge regarding feeding them and care issues.

Dogs are very common pets, however they are not suited for every lifestyle.  Most people make the mistake of going out and getting the first cute puppy they see without doing any breed research.  They may end up taking home a dog breed that is not suited to their lifestyle at all.

When a person gets a dog breed that is not suited to their lifestyle problems usually develop, generally the dog gets bored and becomes destructive or aggressive.  In the dog community there is a saying, “There are no bad dogs, only bad owners” meaning that if a dog is acting bad it is the fault of the owner, either they picked a dog that was not suited to their lifestyle, they failed to train it correctly, or simply did not keep up with basic care and responsibilities.

Some breeds have a lot of energy and need a lot of exercise, others require a lot of mental stimulation, some are quite lazy and are happy with short walks, some physically cannot tolerate too much exercise.  Some dog breeds are better with kids than others.

Some people insist on having a purebred dog, these are dogs that are registered to prove breed.  Being a purebred does not mean the dog is quality, it only proves breed.  Many people are quite happy with unregistered dogs, they can make a guess at the breeds or can go for DNA testing to determine the dog’s breed.

Where the pup is purchased is also a consideration, with pet stores often selling pups that come via puppy broker from puppy millsBackyard breeders are only slightly better (their prices are lower) but they too might not give a prospective buyer all the information as they might just want to make a sale.

Other than getting the wrong breed (and buying from a less than ethical seller), another common mistake people make is in regards to feeding.  Some people simply feed to much food, making obesity a common health problem of all pets.  Fat dogs can be put on diets.

There are many dog foods on the market, however many are low quality, they make use of filler (such as corn and by-products) and offer low nutrition, as such owners have to feed more food to give the dog all the nutrition it needs.  Other people compensate by offering human foods (such as eggs) to their dogs, while others actually cook full meals for their dogs.  It is important for dog owners to be aware that some human foods can be toxic to dogs.

Note that switching dog foods should be done gradually or you can cause an upset stomach in your dog

There are many health concerns in dogs that are misunderstood, including reverse sneezing, and the behavior in which dogs scoot their bums on the floor or carpet.  Reverse sneezing is common in small dogs and generally nothing to worry about.  Scooting on the floor does not mean the dog has worms, usually it means the anal glands need cleaning.

Pregnancy is also a concern with some people letting their dogs breed for no other reason than that they want to see how cute the puppies will be.  Dogs are pregnant 57 to 65 days.  In some breeds (mostly the small ones) cesarian sections are often needed and can be an unexpected expense.

Generally speaking there is a lot to consider before getting a dog, or puppy, please do a lot of research first.

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  1. Good advice for those dogs lovers like me. You’re so right there are not bad dogs only bad owners.

  2. Good article. I totally agree that people need to study breeds or research which the best fit for their lifestyle.

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