By Ann Sullivan
Having a dog in one’s life is a great responsibility. This should not be taken lightly. When you own a dog, you are responsible for the welfare of a living being. If you don’t have the understanding, time, patience, caring and knowledge you should educate yourself. You should carefully consider if you have the qualifications for such a great responsibility. You should also love dogs. If you don’t qualify, then don’t get one. Do you find yourself on this list? If you answered yes, you are one of the 11 types of people who should never own a dog.
1) People Who are Never Home
If you work long hours or travel frequently, you should not own a dog. A dog is not a car that you leave parked somewhere while you’re away. If you don’t have adequate time to spend at home or plan to leave your dog in a kennel frequently, you should not own a dog. Dog’s need structure and routine in their lives, just like a child. If you are making the dog stay elsewhere to suit your schedule, don’t get a dog. Dogs are sentient beings and know when they are wanted and cared for, or not. If you plan to frequently drop your dog off like you’d drop your shirts at the cleaners, you are not qualified to own a dog. Dogs are devoted to their home. If you are always changing their environment, you will create a very anxious and unhappy pooch.
2) People with Considerable Allergies
If you have allergies or respiratory issues, you should not own a dog that sheds. There are two types of dogs. Dogs that shed, and dogs which have hair. Dogs with hair generally don’t shed. This means their hair grows just like a human. That equates to frequent grooming and extra care. It’s possible to own one of these dogs if you have allergies, but you need to be dedicated to the care and maintenance that is required to keep the dog happy and healthy. There’s nothing worse than seeing a poor little dog whose hair is all matted up and unkempt. This is also a health hazard to the animal. The mats on the hair can turn into skin infections if not properly cared for. This means you’ll need to find a qualified groomer and take your dog on a regular basis – at least once a month.
3) People Who are Afraid of Dogs
If you are afraid of other people’s dogs, then don’t get one of your own. Dogs can smell fear due to the chemical changes in the human who is exhibiting that fear. If you don’t like visiting friends and neighbors because you are afraid of their dogs, don’t get one of your own. You will not only make the dog miserable, you won’t enjoy having the dog if you are afraid. This will most likely translate into improper care for the dog, such as isolation from the household by sequestering it to a spot where the dog cannot socialize with you and your family or friends. If you want to get a dog, but are afraid, you will need to overcome that fear first. A simple way is to get to know a friend’s dog, or visit a place where dogs are, such as a dog park or walking path.
4) People Without Time & Energy
If you have a hectic schedule and don’t have time to walk or play with your dog, then don’t get one. Dogs need well-rounded routines which include exercise, play and training time. If you don’t engage your dog in activities, you will end up with a dog that is anxious, depressed, and unhappy. Dogs have internal clocks and know their routines, once established. If you don’t have the time or energy to keep your dog on a regular schedule of eating, playing, training, and grooming, you should not get one. Dogs are at their happiest when their needs are met with regular consistency. Most dogs know when it’s time for dinner, time for a walk, time for bed, time to get up, etc. If you are someone who cannot keep a structured routine of activities for a dog, you are not qualified to own one.
5) People Who Don’t Understand Dogs
Just like anything else, you need to have the proper knowledge and understanding to own a dog. If you don’t have such understanding, and you want a dog, you should educate yourself. There are many ways to learn about dogs. If you have a specific breed in mind, talk to a professional who breeds that type of dog. You can get books, on-line videos, and attend dog shows specific to that breed. It’s like anything else. If you don’t understand it, you won’t be good at it. Chances are you won’t enjoy it either, and you’ll make the dog miserable in the process. If you’re unwilling to learn, you should not own a dog. Lacking understanding often leads to abuse and dogs ending up in a shelter. If you don’t understand the dog, you will not be able to handle owning one. This is your responsibility, not the dogs!
6) People Who Don’t Properly Groom
Just like humans, dogs need regular grooming to be healthy and happy. The breed of dog will dictate the type and frequency of grooming required. If you are unable to keep up with proper grooming and care, you should not own a dog. Some dogs need their nails cut at least once monthly. Others need to be bathed and trimmed. This depends on the type of dog. Larger dogs, such as German Shepherds, don’t need to be bathed monthly, for example. Bathing this type of dog too frequently can lead to dry skin due to loss of skin oils. On the other hand, if you have a breed such as a Shih Tzu, you will need to ensure they get groomed frequently. This means bathing, trimming hair and nails and brushing frequently. It also means, with any breed, caring for their teeth as well.
7) People Who Don’t Exercise & Play
Every dog needs some form of mental stimulus and physical activity. The type of dog will dictate what is appropriate to meet their requirements. Some dogs, such as the Bulldog, will lay around all day unless you engage them in activity. Other dogs, such as Border Collies, Labradors, and Setters, need to run a lot. Whatever the type of dog, if you don’t understand and meet their activity requirements, you should not own a dog. Dogs can die of neglect and depression. If you don’t know what’s required to keep your dog active and engaged, you can shorten their lifespan, and make them miserable in the process. If you bought a plant, you’d need to water it. Dogs need to be engaged in activity, play time, and have their exercise requirements met to be happy and healthy.
8) People Who Want a Dog Only for Protection
If you’re thinking of getting a dog just for protection, you should get an alarm system instead. A dog is not a machine. They are living beings who require care as such. If you’re thinking of getting a dog and leaving it outside with a dog house and no personal interaction, then skip it. That’s a very cruel thing to do. People who leave their dogs outside all the time, either in a yard, or worse, tied to a tree, are the most unqualified, insensitive people and should most definitely not own a dog. Besides, if the dog is not bonded, it will not want to protect you anyway. All you’ll accomplish is a miserable dog who could end up becoming aggressive due to frustration and lack of bonding. You must bond with your dog to have a happy and fulfilling relationship. Then the protection will become a byproduct of that association.
9) People Who Don’t Make the Dog Part of the Family
People who do not include their dog as a member of the household should not own a dog. Dogs are social creatures and require such to thrive. Dogs who are not considered members of the family can often turn to bad habits out of frustration and neglect. If a dog has developed a bad behavior, you can be certain it was due to a negative experience or circumstance. If you don’t integrate your dog into the household as a respected and loved member of the family, you should not own a dog. What is the point of owning a dog if you don’t allow them to be involved? That’s not to say they should have the run of the place. Dogs need to know their role and who’s in charge. Dogs are pack animals. If they know their place and role in the pack, that’s ideal for their wellbeing.
10) People Who Don’t Provide Nurturing
If you are not a kind-hearted, loving person, chances are you won’t be nurturing to a dog. Dog’s need love, just like everyone else. If you’re not prepared to show kindness and affection to your furry friend, then don’t get a dog. Dog’s know when people love them or not. They understand when they are cared for and appreciated. If you don’t provide kindness, love and nurturing, you will be doing the dog a great disservice. Dogs are like children. They need a structured environment, discipline, kindness, love and nurturing. If you are not the type of person who can provide that, you are not qualified to own a dog. Real dog lovers consider their dogs as children. That’s not to say you should treat a dog exactly like a child. You should, however, provide a loving nurturing environment in which the dog can reach its potential.
11) People Who Don’t Provide Good Diet, Nutrients & Vet Care
Just like people, dogs need proper nutrition, fresh water, and regular check-ups. People who feed their dogs garbage food and then complain about the vet bills should not own a dog. Dogs need good nutrients and the best quality food possible. There are many dog food brands on the market that are simply made of junk. If you plan to own a dog, you will need to know what type of food is best suited for optimal health. Different breeds have different requirements. People who are uncaring of what they feed them should not own a dog. Just like a person who eats junk food every day, it will catch up and cause health and wellness issues. Improper nutrition can also lead to behavioral issues. If you’re not a person who takes nutrition and wellness seriously for yourself, you will most likely not do it for a dog either.