* I. **Introduction*
i. Explanation and expounding of the topic: “picking the right dog for you”
ii. Brief preview of the essays content: What to expect, how to prepare
iii. Main idea of the essay: give an overview of what dog ownership entails
* II. **Body *
a) The breed
b) The gender
c) To rescue/adopt or buy
e) Living arrangements
f) Trained or untrained
ii. Going through the process:
a) Paragraph 1: making the decision
b) Paragraph 2: The transition and adaptation
c) Paragraph 3: The challenge/s
d) Paragraph 4: Managing the challenge/s
iv. Lessons learnt
A man’s best friend is a phrase that has been used to describe a dog. The decision to own a dog or to bring a puppy home is one that requires family inclusion and quiet a lot of psychological, financial and physical planning. The reason behind getting the dog is very important, whether a security dog, for farm herding work, service dogs or companion/pet dogs. Often time’s people get a puppy because it’s cute, fluffy and a great playmate for their kids without giving it a deeper thought on what it entails, the decision to have a dog without proper planning often times leads to these owners mistreating the dogs, neglecting them or abandoning them. Understanding all the factors to consider before getting a puppy will help and go a long way in preparation. The most important thing to do is research widely and learn as much as you can before bringing a puppy home. Get family members involved in the process, one may need them to babysit your dog or help taking it for walks.
Once the decision to bring a puppy home is made, there are several factors to consider when choosing to be a dog owner;
i. The Breed; this includes personality, lifespan, do you want a big or small dog? (From the Great Dane to the Chihuahua and everything in between normally referred to as medium sized dogs), Short or long fur? Big dogs tend to be quiet destructive if confined in small spaces, their energy levels are high and therefore need a lot of exercise or a yard to play around unlike the smaller breeds who can manage little to no exercise. Dog shedding is also another factor to consider, long/thick furry dogs tend to shed a lot, this can be a disaster to your clothes, carpet and sofas, but worse would be the allergies that can come along with dogs fur. My personal favorite is a dog with hypoallergenic fur.
ii. The Gender; female dogs are often considered docile while the males are more aggressive and protective towards their owners. Whichever breed selected it’s important to ensure that neutering/spaying is done to avoid unwanted litters.
iii. To rescue/adopt or buy; nothing is better than rescuing a dog/puppy opening your heart and home to a needy puppy and changing its life and making a difference in its life is the most fulfilling thing. But should one choose to buy, there are options to buy from reputable breeders, back yard breeders (you should be careful with this group).
iv. Single/married/children; when there are other family members involved proper considerations of their allergies, whether the dog is kid friendly, and how this big decision affects everyone.
v. Living arrangements; apartments or yard, depending on the breed, will the dog be happy living in an apartment or a house with a yard? It is also important to know beforehand what pet policies are there in your building.
vi. Trained or untrained; for most security and service dogs one would prefer getting a trained dog over an untrained one, as for pet dogs perhaps the only necessary training would be potty training.
Having armed yourself with the above information and knowing exactly what breed you want, for what purpose and whether it would fit perfectly into your lifestyle and home. The next step is in taking the bold step to bring the pup home. If you chose to get a companion dog which are the most common types of dogs in most homesteads, the medium sized dogs (golden retriever, Dalmatian, German shepherds, bull dogs) are just a few examples of dogs that fit perfectly in families. They easily fit into routines within the family or home. If buying, always choose to go to professional registered breeders, back yard breeders are often not the best to seek. However, adopting or rescuing is mostly advised, should you choose to adopt then there are some fees to pay which are mainly meant to help with the running of the shelter, feeding the dogs, veterinary services and other maintenance costs.
Bring the new puppy home, prior preparation is very helpful, making sure you have bought the necessities; a doggie bed, food, bowls, and blankets some toys. Picking a name for your fur baby, having a microchip installed, having a collar with a tag having contact details is very important should the dog get lost and you need to track it. Reading and researching on how to help you and the new dog transition in the same environment with ease. Indoor pets will generally require potty training, walks or some form of outdoor exercising, depending on one’s schedules you may hire a dog walker or do it yourself.
The first few days or weeks will be a bit stressful but it all depends on how patient and well prepared beforehand one is, the puppy may refuse to eat, it may defecate/soil the house at free will, urinating and relieving itself at any part of the house. They may also cry a lot or bark this may annoy the neighbors, so be ready for that as well or even get startled often by noises, your puppy may also suffer separation anxiety, and being left alone in the house may take a while to get used to.
Once you get the puppy, to avoid it refusing to eat, try and provide the same foods it was being fed before, always provide clean food and water at all times, it may also be important to start with the same feed they were being fed then introducing new feeds gradually. Inform your neighbors that you have gotten a puppy and apologize in advance for any noises, barks and cries that may be inconvenient. Potty training requires a lot of patience and disinfectants will definitely come in handy.
The most important lesson when picking a dog for you is to research widely, understanding what the breed of dog you want requires, having a good veterinary doctor who will advise you regularly on your dogs’ needs and most importantly ensuring you provide unconditional love, care and tenderness to your dog and you are guaranteed to have the best and loyal companion by your side.