5 Things To Consider Before You Get A Family Pet

The other day, this tear-jerker of a video came across my Facebook feed (watch it until the end, and make sure you have kleenex on hand).

Not only was it the cause of many tears, but the video sparked a slew of comments about pet adoption and abuse, and shed light on a big problem in regards to animal welfare that needs to be addressed.

Children love puppies (and kittens for that matter), and it can be easy to give in to their sweet little pleas to add a furry friend to the family. But just like the decision to have another child should be very well thought out, so should be the decision to adopt a pet.

family pet

My Dalmatian, Keyla pups – 14 years old

Before you head to the SPCA to pick out a pup for your family, ask yourself these 5 questions:

1) Are you ready for a slew of sleepless nights and unpredictable destruction? If you’re looking to adopt a puppy, be prepared for some sleepless nights, and for some of your favourite things to become irreparable chew toys.

2) Are you prepared to do all of the dirty work? While your children will be promising to pick up the poop and walk their new friend, the novelty will wear off, and it will be up to you to take over the tough tasks.

3) Is your home big enough for a full-sized pet? Puppies are small and cuddly, but they grow – and quickly! Before you sign the papers, make sure your home is equipped for the adult-version of your little pup.

4) Are you alright with a little unwanted noise? Dogs bark, it’s just what they do. So if you have a baby who needs silence to nap, or if you anger easily, perhaps a pup isn’t right for you.

5) Are you ready for the life-long commitment of caring for a pet? Yes puppies grow older, train well and settle in nicely after the first few months, but just like people, dogs get older. Injuries, ailments, and old age will eventually set in, and you will be responsible for added costs and extra care as your pet grows older.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many great benefits to adopting a pet, but it’s important to prepare for the responsibilities that come with the life-long commitment before heading to the pound.

 

Don’t Judge A Dalmatian By Its Spots

I was walking my Dalmatian at my favourite dog park the other day, when I overheard the same hushed commentary hiss through the tight lips of passersby. “Ohh Dalmatians, they’re cute but they’re SO hyper….” they sneered. And I get it – for some reason Dalmatians have gained a bad rap – likely due to the surge of poorly-treated and poorly-bred pups that were mass produced after the popularity of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. 

“Ohh Dalmatians, they’re cute but they’re SO hyper….”

But isn’t assuming that all puppies born of the same breed have the same temperament, almost as presumptuous as assuming that all people of a certain race have the same personality traits? Ok dogs and people aren’t quite the same, but I do find that dogs, like people, have their own personalities and temperments – (in my opinion) as a result of the environment in which they were raised (nature vs nurture?).

Dalmatian

I may be a bit biased when it comes to Dalmatians (I’ve had mine for almost 13 years now), but like with people, I don’t think it’s fair to judge a book by its cover. Contrary to popular belief, my pups is calm, friendly, gentle, submissive, and actually quite lazy! She’s great with kids, and terrified of cats.

Yes, when given the opportunity, she can appear to be a little energetic…

Dalmatian

But the majority of the time, she’s sleeping in a sun spot on my living room floor – lazy as can be.

Dalmatian

Many dog owners think of their furry friends as their babies. As silly as it may seem to non-dogowners, canine companions are regarded to many as a legitimate part of the family. Can you image if you were walking past a stranger with your ginger-haired baby and you heard someone sneer, “Ohhh redheads can be so hot-tempered!”

If you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say it at all. Or at least, don’t say it within earshot of the person you are saying it about.

I’m not a dog expert. I’m sure there are some breed-specific traits and health issues that are genetically linked, but properly bred and raised Dalmatians are usually not “hyper”.

Properly bred and raised Dalmatians are usually not hyper. 

I’ve known several Dalmatian owners, and I can honestly say that they make great pets for families with young children and are the sweetest pets. If you are interested in getting a Dalmatian – do your research (and be sure that the information you are reading comes from reliable sources).

To learn more about Dalmatians, check out the  Dalmatian Club of America website.

Dalmatians