If you are thinking about becoming a dog parent, but have concerns, we have good news for you: most of the fears that keep prospect pet owners from getting a dog are manageable.
You may already know the positive effects that pet ownership can have on children as well as on the health benefits that it can have on individuals of all ages. If you have not yet visited your nearest shelter and adopted a dog, perhaps you are worried about potential issues. Click To Tweet
Anticipating undesirable situations and setting realistic expectations will help avoid potential problems. That is why we tried to identify the main concerns and provide you with the necessary information to minimize or eliminate the barriers that stand between you and your four-legged friend.
Having a pet is an important and personal choice, so our goal is to offer the resources that could help you make the right decision.
Motivation & Benefits
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an informed decision is a decision based on facts or information. In order to do this, it is necessary to analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of dog ownership. Thus, we will begin by analyzing the motivations and benefits of having a pet.
According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, there are 6 main motivations to having a pet:
- Company. The need to create a bond and interact is the most common motivation.
- Help and service. Many individuals appreciate having an animal that has a function, such as working dogs, assistance or service.
- Model of perfection. Proudly displaying a unique or perfect specimen of a certain animal can be a motivating factor for some.
- Symbol of prestige or social status. Some dog breeds are historically related to aristocracy and royalty.
- As an ornament. In these cases, the motivation is the aesthetic factor.
In fact, the health and wellness benefits that a dog can give you are the basis of animal-assisted therapies.
- Increases calmness and happiness, thus reducing stress;
- Motivates physical activity and daily walking;
- Reduces symptoms of depression, loneliness, isolation, boredom and anxiety;
- Strengthens self-esteem and increases social interactions and communication;
- Helps in bridging the gap between patients and healthcare providers;
- Assists in independent or assisted movement;
- Accelerates the healing or recovery process; and
- Encourages self-expression, and self-motivation.
Is Pet Ownership For Me?
Similar to the relationship between wolves and primitive men shaped the personality and genetics of both, animal lovers, and especially those who share their life with a dog, have unique characteristics regardless of their language or location in the world.
Dog lovers are a special group of people, with personalities as diverse as dog breeds, but with much in common. In general, people that have experience owning and caring for a pet have these characteristics:
- They cherish loyalty and unconditional love;
- They can handle commitment and know how to care for others;
- They are less stressed;
- They can better understand body language; and
- They have a higher tolerance to the havoc that pets can sometimes cause.
If any of these features characterizes you and you do not have a dog yet, learning about the challenges that are preventing you from benefiting from the love and companionship of a four-legged friend is perhaps the first step to begin to overcome them.
6 Obstacles Between You & Your Dog
Studies carried out by animal protection agencies show that many people have doubts about how a dog will affect their life or their family dynamics, and whether they can properly take care of a pet. The fact that they have these concerns demonstrate that they are responsible individuals, who would never abandon their four-legged friends.
About 70% of households in the United States have a pet, with dogs being the most common animal, followed by cats, fish, birds and other animals. Argentina, Mexico and Brazil are the 3 countries with the largest number of dogs in Latin America.
In Europe, the country with the largest number of dogs is Russia, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, France and Spain. In almost all of them, this number has increased considerably over the last decade.
Thanks to the data provided by animal shelters and pet adoption associations, it was concluded that there are six main obstacles to pet ownership.
1. Expensive veterinary billsEconomic factors are undoubtedly a compelling reason to decide whether or not to have a pet. Click To Tweet In addition to health expenses, many people consider the costs of care, food, training and pet daycare as an obstacle that, in some cases, can be overcome by being organized and taking preventative measures.
2. Lifestyle changesFor those who never had a pet, modifying their lifestyle to embrace a new responsibility may seem impossible. Click To Tweet However, with information and planning, designing a routine that includes a new furry family member and even enriches your way of life is feasible. Improving our lifestyle thanks to the presence of a pet requires that we consider our physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to feel fulfilled. Click To Tweet
3. Demanding care and maintenance
Your dog will need your time, your dedication and of course some of your money. The form and quantity in which each of these elements are allocated will depend basically on the type of pet that you have chosen and especially on your ability to anticipate bad situations and minimize the impact of unpredictable ones.
4. Problems of aggression and behaviorThe good behavior of your dog is part of the principles of responsible pet ownership. Click To Tweet The goal is to avoid unwanted situations, such as those resulting from aggression, which could cause conflicts with family, friends or neighbors. Basic dog training is the initial step to turning your dog into a Canine Good Citizen. Click To Tweet
5. Risk of allergies and infections
A dog will bring joy to you life and your family. However, for many people, especially small children, the presence of a dog could pose health risks, such as allergies and infections.With certain hygiene measures and the right advice, you can keep your house safe and enjoy the benefits of having a pet without fear. Click To Tweet
6. Grief after a loss
Anyone who has experienced the death of a pet has probably vowed to never have one again. Nevertheless, since our love for our dog lasts forever, after the period of mourning ends, we are able to start to relive the moments of joy shared with our furry friend and the desire to have a pet remerges.Besides focusing on the happy memories, there are many ways to remember your pet. Click To Tweet Providing a temporary home to an animal that has lost their family is undoubtedly a special way to transform pain into love for an animal that needs you.
 Crowell-Davis, Sharon. (2008). Motivation for pet ownership and its relevance to behavior problems. Compendium (Yardley, PA). 30. 423-8.