I found this article today in The Houston Chronicle and I thought it was well worth passing along.  GREAT advice and information.  Before you go out and get that Christmas puppy, read this!

Thinking of getting a pet? Think hard.

Houston’s animal shelters and foster homes are filled with pets surrendered by people who made a decision they came to regret. The Houston Humane Society offers five reasons you should not get a pet:

1. Your lifestyle is not set up for a pet. People who travel constantly or work extremely long hours will not usually have time for a pet. Who will care for your pet when you’re away? How long will he be stuck home alone each day? Will you be too tired to take him for a walk after you’ve worked a long day? Do you have time to train him properly?

2. You don’t have enough money to care for a pet. The adoption fee is just the beginning of the financial commitment. Food and vet care are the more significant ongoing costs. There are monthly heartworm medications and flea preventatives, not to mention annual vaccinations and licenses. How will you pay to treat an ear infection? What if your pet gets hurt and requires surgery?

3. You can’t make a longterm commitment. Many pets can live 10, 15, even 20 years. Are you still going to want him when he chews up your favorite pair of shoes? Next time you move, are you willing to limit yourself to someplace your pet’s allowed? If you start a family, are you committed enough to find time for both pets and kids?

4. You have no idea what kind of pet to get. If you haven’t taken the time to do a little research, you probably aren’t prepared for a pet. It’s important to know what breed best fits within your current lifestyle and space. Do you have a big house with a fenced backyard, or do you have a studio apartment? Do you like to take 3-mile walks every day, or do you want a dog who’ll sit on your lap while you watch TV?

5. You just can’t wait to get a pet. Maybe you think your friend’s dog is awfully cute and are dying for one of your own. Maybe you’ve fallen for a pleading pair of eyes and want to take home that particular dog or cat today. If you’re not willing to wait at least a few days for the adoption process required by most shelters and rescue groups, you’re probably acting too impulsively. Take some time to think. There’s a life at stake.

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.”
~Thom Jones

Stephanie Bennett

Certified Canine Trainer & Behavior Specialist

Professional Dog Training in Houston, TX