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Shar asked in PetsDogs · 2 months ago

What are some important things I should know before I get my first dog? ?

I'm 15 years old and I have been looking forward to getting a dog as a new edition of my family. I feel that it's very beneficial as I would have more company during the pandemic and it would be very comforting for my younger brother, who is special needs. What are some things I should know? And as for my parents too?

11 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    sorry, it is your mom should be asking questions relating to responsibility and care of a dog being considered for the family...most important.... would having this pup overwhelm her considering a special needs child probably necessitates most  of her attention while a dog (unless it is specially trained for assistance) also needs human time love and caring for itself. ...

    at fifteen years years you might not realize the importance of an adult understanding and agreeing to assume full responsibility for a dog needing lifelong consideration............shelters are on the receiving end for those rejected due to the above "mistakes"

  • 2 months ago

    Your parents will be the legal owners. You'll be going off to college, moving out, and the dog will stay with your parents. Your parents should be asking. But read, read, read, on what needs to be done. Lots of info online. 

  • 2 months ago

    Here are lots of sites addressing this issue.  All the things you need to know & all the things you need to buy, all the training necessary.

  • 2 months ago

    This won't be YOUR dog - it will be a family dog which means everybody in your family must be in agreement that now is the time to bring a dog into the family - ESPECIALLY YOUR MOTHER!! 

    It rings loud alarm bells for me when people mention getting a dog during this pandemic.  If you look at some of the internet sale websites, all too often now there are puppies of around 8 months out of their homes because people's circumstances have changed and that's very very sad.

    It's up to your parents to do the homework re dog ownership and what it entails.   And unless your family chooses to adopt from a Shelter, PLEASE make sure you find a reputable experienced breeder of the breed you decide on, via the relevant Breed Club, so you buy a healthy, carefully reared puppy not some poor animal from a BYGreeder, asking crazy prices just now.

    Just to add at 15, you may well be into a lot of other interests, extended education so it worries me that you may not be around much to be involved in this dog.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Bringing a dog into your household will change everything and your parents MUST be in agreement with it all.

    AT 15 years old you are way too young to take on the complete responsibility of a dog and it will be your parents responsibility to ensure its welfare.

    I don`t know which country you live in, but in many countries its illegal to sell a dog to someone under 18 or in some cases 16. Including the UK and the US.

    Dogs are expensive to keep and need training, feeding, vaccinations and exercise, and veterinary care at times. 

    Confer with your parents on this matter.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You need to read up on dog care, watch some training videos and ask questions at shelters or to your local vet about grooming, feeding, exercise and training.

    Dogs are easy to raise and should be a companion or working animal, they do not do well home alone or out in a yard alone or caged all the time. They are natural pack animals and prefer to be with someone rather than being alone.

    The more time and effort you put into your. Dog the better the dog will bond with you and listen to you.

    I have learned over the years to talk to my pups a lot, they learn different values of your words and your tones.  My elder dogs usually guess what I want them to do before I ask them, the dogs love routines as well as play time.

    Learn what breeds your interested in and how to care for it.  Some dogs are excellent water dogs for instance while others are not.  Be patient with your dog and show them kindness.  You can get farther and faster with a dog in training when it’s not afraid of the handler.

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I don't think the reasons you've stated are good enough to base owning a dog on. The pandemic will end, you'll get out more and will the dog get forgotten? As for your brother who is special needs, the right temperament might be comforting, but a dog that is nervous, "hyper" or could be aggressive wouldn't be. Does he understand how to handle a dog with his needs? Is he capable or learning and understanding rules regarding the dog?

    What breed would be suitable and that dog's history. Some dog's are not for a novice owner. I would get a dog from a rescue because you'll save money and get a reliable history of that dog and what it is good with and I doubt you could afford to buy from a damn good breeder. Either way, learn what is expected from a breeder when you buy to ensure you are buying from a good one.

    MONEY - It can be £38 for just seeing a vet. My dog had an ear infection and to be seen and given medicine it cost over £100. Three weeks later, she torn off a nail on her front paw. Over £100 again. Plus her vaccination were up that month, plus she needed fleaing and worming. Could you afford that kind of payout one after the other. If not look into insurance. Then the monthly cost of owning the dog and replacing damaged things (toys, beds, leads). 

    Attention - Every dog, unless for medical reasons, need at least 1 hour of exercise every day, and many need more otherwise it can lead to destructive behaviour. Grooming. Play.

  • Anton
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    A dog lives 10 to 25 years.  Where will you be in 5 years?

    I have a pair of 6-year-old dogs that were dumped into the dog pound when the owners stopped teenagers.  They were lucky.  Most 6-year-old dogs at the dog pound are killed.  Not that you care.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    There's a lot more than can be written about here, so I'll try to sum things up.  First, you should know what kind of expenses you'll be dealing with every year caring for a dog:  veterinary bills (checkups, vaccinations, dental cleaning, etc.), quality food, health insurance (I highly recommend so you never have to choose between your dog and your bank account), toys, flea/tick/heartworm preventative, to name a few.  If you and your family can't afford all that, you aren't ready to get a dog.  Second, you should know what kinds of foods are toxic to dogs (grapes and raisins were a surprise to me).  Some are toxic to all dogs while others are breed-specific.  Keep the numbers handy for animal poison control (888-426-4435) and the nearest 24 hour animal emergency room, as well as knowing the location of the 24 hour animal ER.

    Third, relating to part of #1, look up pet health insurance.  There are several different companies.  I personally recommend Embrace Pet Insurance because they treated me and my dogs so well and were fairly affordable, and I also personally caution against 24PetWatch pet insurance because they refused coverage on a claim for one of my dogs when we needed them the most and then tripled the rates when I tried to renew.

    Fourth, you should also look up the physical and personality traits of various breeds to see what kind of dog would work best for you and your family.  Keep in mind that a mixed breed may or may not have traits of the breeds that are mixed in.  I'll put a link below to a good questionnaire on the Animal Planet website.

    Fifth, learn how to brush your dog's teeth.  Petco sells a minty tartar control toothpaste for dogs (NEVER use fluoride toothpaste that's meant for humans, because they can't spit it out), and you can use a regular human toothbrush (I recommend the sensitive or ultra-soft bristles).  That'll keep his/her teeth and gums healthy, breath kissably fresh, and will greatly reduce what all the vet has to do during the annual dental checkup.  Sixth, get a dog from an animal shelter, never a breeder or puppy mill.  Dogs in shelters are desperate for loving homes with people who care for them.  Breeders just want to make a quick buck off the reproductive labors of their canine slaves.

    Last for this list, but certainly not the absolute last to consider, is that you must always have a great deal of patience with dogs.  There's a huge communication barrier between you and your dog.  They can't understand what you want them to do or what specifically you're mad about when they did something wrong.  Keep your temper under control, and that goes for the rest of your family as well.  Love your dog with all your heart, respect him/her as an individual and family member, and cherish every moment you have together because in the end it'll seem like their life went by in the blink of an eye.

  • *****
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You should know that dogs are for life, not just the pandemic, and be certain that you are able to still provide good quality of care when things are back to "normal" and not abandon them when you're once again able to get out and socialize with friends and go to school in person and etc. You should know that not all dogs will be good with children who have special needs (depending on the nature of their disability) and ensure that your brother is fully able to treat a dog with appropriate care and respect before bringing a dog home. Also realize that's it's very likely that a dog will have no interest in "comforting" him. 

    Prepare yourself also for the possibility that a dog may have a strong preference for one household member, and it may not be you. Two of our three dogs we had when I was a kid preferred my father's company to everyone else's, despite the fact that he did not do any of their routine care, training, etc., and one of the dogs was specifically purchased to be my younger brother's dog. She wanted nothing to do with him, and the more he tried to bond with her, the less she wanted to be around him. 

    You should ensure that your parents are fully willing and able to care for the dog when you head off to college in just a few short years, and that their normal everyday non-pandemic schedules allow for them to provide good quality of care. You also need to be sure that your parents have budgeted for the dog's routine needs and are able to also financially handle emergencies like a serious illness or injury, or willing to pay for veterinary insurance. 

    Overall, realize dogs are living, feeling animals and not toys. Think not only about what they might provide to your life, but what you can provide to them. 

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