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For the Love of Dogs: Ups and Downs of Having A Furry Baby

by Simon Dupree Musician

 Dog parenting is both amazing and challenging. Just like having a baby, getting a puppy or adopting a dog requires some changes in lifestyle, organization and time management. On the other hand, these four-legged friends quickly get to hold a special place in our hearts and nothing ever feels the same after they become a part of the family.

If you’re thinking of becoming a dog owner, there are positive as well as negative sides to it that need to be considered. Here are some notable peaks and valleys to remember before becoming a proud pooch parent.

DOGS ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

You’ve probably noticed how happy and fulfilled you feel around your furry friend, but you probably didn’t know that spending time around dogs can also make you physically healthier. You'd think that having pets might trigger allergies by kicking up sneeze-and-wheeze-inducing dander and fur. On contrary, if raised with babies and young children dogs can profoundly change and strengthen their immune system for the better.  

Babies who grow up in homes with a pet are less likely to get sick than children who live pet-free. Exposure to (normal and healthy) animal bacteria and microbes from the earliest age could stimulate babies’ still-developing immune systems and train them early to fend off assaults from common allergens, bugs and infections.

This means that it’s actually good introducing a dog to a small child and apart from emotional support and loyalty, a dog will improve your kid’s overall health. Studies show that regular daily exposure to pets like dogs lower the chance of developing respiratory problems and infections, such as asthma. Ear infections, colds, allergies are also less likely to bother your child if he or she spends time around dogs.

DOGS CAN BE A HANDFUL

If you thought having a dog is all fun and games, you were wrong. Although cute and lovely, dogs are also expensive, energetic, messy, strong-willed and noisy. You need to really consider if you are ready for a long-term commitment, both mentally and financially. You might be crazy about dogs, but playing with them and looking after one is a whole different ballgame.

Before you bring home a dog, talk to your children and other family members about new responsibilities you will be facing. Let everyone have their separate task, and make sure to involve your kids in the nurturing process from the start.

On top of that, restricting a dog to closed space, especially when a house or a flat becomes its main place of residence, requires some time and dedication on the owner’s part. It’s your responsibility to teach and guide the dog to behave well and feel comfortable indoors. Make sure to dog-proof your home by getting rid of any toxic chemicals or keeping them out of reach. Buying necessary supplies and food can sometimes be expensive and space consuming. From dog beds, leashes and grooming brushes to little things such as chew toys for teething and special poop bags, your house will become a small pet store in no time.

Furthermore, house training is something to start with as soon as your puppy sets paw in your home. On the bright side, it’s a great way to teach discipline, persistence and patience to your kids, for example, and training your new pooch can be a fun family activity to share.

A DOG IS A MAN’S BEST FRIEND

Who’d say a fluffy ball of fur can be so meaningful and profound to our lives. A dog’s love is unconditional and infinite. Their ability to bond quickly, to show unquestionable loyalty and affection and just be there all the time is what makes them so special.

In fact, introducing a dog to a child or baby’s life can help them socialize and develop communication skills later in life. A trustworthy, devoted relationship helps children open up, gain self-esteem and fill the void or feelings of loneliness without judgement.

Caring for a live animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail and soft friendly paws.

WHAT ABOUT THE ETHICS OF PET KEEPING?

What is rarely talked about among dog lovers and pet owners in general is the ultimate question of whether it is even moral keeping an animal as a pet. Although we think of them as best friends, loyal companions or even legit family members, isn’t it selfish and a bit self-centered assuming that a dog is better off living with people? The term “ownership” itself says it all.

More and more research is addressing the problematics of pet keeping and what seems most controversial is whether or not it denies animals the right of self-determination. If you think about it, we bring them into our lives because we want them, then we dictate what they eat, where they live, how they behave, how they look, even whether they get to keep their sex organs. Although we like to think we’re providing them with great, quality lives, ultimately, we’re depriving them of their natural instincts and freedom of movement.

That being said, it’s foolish thinking that dog packs can survive on their own in this world. Those that still exist are chased out of towns and eventually starve and suffer. Keeping a dog in this sense means actually providing them safety and a chance to live long and happy lives. Probably the best way to look at things is understanding both arguments – keeping a dog is noble and generous, but don’t forget that it’s also a great responsibility, honor and work. If we understand their characteristics, needs and wishes, we can give them a life they deserve.

DAILY DOSE OF DOG: NATURAL PAINKILLER AND ANXIETY BUSTER

When feeling down, moody or just plain lonely, a simple dog hug can make wonders. Dogs keep loneliness and isolation at bay and make us smile. In other words, their creature camaraderie and ability to keep us engaged in daily life are good recipes for warding off the blues.

Research has shown that children suffering from ASD can benefit a lot by being around dogs. Keeping a dog requires constant care and takes up a lot of time, however, it’s a multidirectional relationship that can give an autistic child a sense of achievement and fulfilment.

Therapy dogs, for example, are taught to lie on the child and apply deep pressure to reduce stress and self-stimulating behaviours. Engaging in play or caressing a dog may shift the child’s focus and divert attention away from negative behavior.

In fact, people of all age can benefit from dog presence, from providing sensory stress relief, to reducing anxiety and improving vitality.  


About Simon Dupree Junior   Musician

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Joined APSense since, July 9th, 2019, From Hague, Netherlands.

Created on Aug 12th 2019 10:55. Viewed 95 times.

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