Tue | Sep 26, 2017

In the doghouse | Dog 101

Published:Sunday | October 2, 2016 | 10:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Playful Ariana.
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It has been said that, "No one on earth will love you more, be more patient with your moods or keep your secrets better than your dog." And since dog is a man's best friend, Outlook decided to examine all things canine in our new feature: In the Doghouse.

This week, we highlight everything you need to know if you're thinking of becoming a doggy parent.

1 According to Associate Veterinarian at Noah's Ark, Melisa Thompson, you first need to consider your lifestyle and if you are able to manage a dog. "Smaller dogs, and to a lesser extent bigger dogs, require walking, all dogs need to be vaccinated, so based on your finances, you need to figure out if you can afford having a dog," she explained to Outlook.

2 Another factor to consider as an aspiring first-time dog owner is the type of household you have and are able to provide for your pet. She notes that the size of your home might be the deciding factor in the size of dog you get. "A small home has no space, so those with a small home tend to drift towards having a toy dog or a small dog. With that in mind, you have to ensure that the house is pet friendly for your canine. While the bigger house with more yard space tends to attract larger dogs. In rare cases I've seen the reverse, big dogs in small homes and vice versa," Thompson noted.

3 According to Thompson, the bottom line is personal preference - after all, they will become family, so the specie, breed or size is dependent on the individual or the family type - some prefer big dogs, others prefer small dogs, so it's really all up to you, Thompson said.

4 As it relates to food and health care, she notes that larger dogs require more attention than smaller dogs, so potential dog owners should consider their budget before making this big step. "Health costs for smaller dogs are more than those for larger dogs because the doses of medication are smaller. The consumption level is also lower than a bigger dog."

She continues, "Depending on the specie or breed of the dog, they are prone to different diseases. Large dogs such as German shepherds and Rottweilers are prone to parvovirus, a disease caused by gastroenteritis."

But, on a lighter note, Thompson shared that dogs, large or small, make the home a happier, with their warm and exciting personalities. And children tend to gravitate towards dogs, creating a bond that lasts a lifetime. So, take a chance and invite a dog of your choice into your life. Who knows? You may very well end up having a 'pawsome' time!

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com