If you're thinking about getting a pet, you may be wondering if a dog is worth all the hassles.
After all, a dog will need to be house-broken. It may bark at night, or chew your slippers. There are visits to the veterinarian and apologies to the neighbor. What's so great about having a dog for a pet?
Plenty. Here are some of the classic reasons why many people prefer dogs over cats as household pets:
1. Dogs make terrific companions.
They seem to sense when a master is feeling low, and they will eagerly stick a cold nose into your hand or lick your face. Dogs lie faithfully at your feet and rarely talk back, except when trained to do so. A canine pal will go anywhere that you do without complaining. He will still love you when you forget to fill the feed bowl, fail to pat his head or fume over a doggy mess. Few friends are as loyal and dedicated as man's best friend.
2. Dogs are great protectors
Take a walk in the park with your dog and watch what happens if another person or animal threatens you, even playfully. Your dog may well be in the attacker's face, fangs bared, in a courageous act of self-sacrifice to protect you. Dogs also make great night-time barkers to scare away burglars. Statistics show that homeowners with dogs as pets, whether housed indoors or outdoors, experience fewer burglary attempts than those without dogs or other security systems. Dogs are protective of their domain and their masters, so you will be in good paws.
3. Dogs can be great for kids
Check the breed before purchasing a pet that will be playing with the children. Some breeds are better than others with kids. But even gentle breeds that have been exposed to abuse or neglect in the past may have a bad side that could lead them to snap at your little ones, or worse. If your pet bonds with the children, they will enjoy a loving friend and a constant guardian. Plus, lacking other playmates, your dog will keep them busy throwing sticks or Frisbees as well as playing tag.
4. Dog's aren't terribly expensive, on average
Unless you buy a pedigree or your dog experiences unusual health problems, you may not have to spend a fortune to keep him healthy and safe. Dog food is inexpensive, and a pet bed for sleeping can cost less than twenty dollars. Periodic veterinarian visits, feeding dishes, a collar, and a leash, as well as a license, maybe all that's needed to care for your pet. One potentially costly item is an electronic security fence to keep your dog at home. But you may not need one if you have a fenced-in yard, a dog house for hooking him up during the day, or keep him mostly indoors, going out only for walks with the master.
5. Dogs do not require tons of care
A daily pat on the head may be enough to throw your pet into paroxysms of delight. A simple game of "toss the ball" can earn his undying fidelity. A bath, a walk, and a tasty treat can earn you the loyalty and protection of an animal that loves you more than anyone else in the world.
Having pets is something like having children. Both are worth the effort if you take time to enjoy them each and every day.