Why you should get a dog By: Laura Snyder Why you should get a dog I am planning to adopt a pet and I believe you should, too. I have decided on a dog because, they are excellent companions, although they require a bit of care. They are amazingly versatile animals who can fill many necessary roles. Dogs are a great pet because they vary in size. The smallest being Chihuahua’s which are from 2-6 pounds and can live up to 17 years (Dogster, 2010). Their size makes them great even for apartment living. The largest being Mastiff’s which are from 110-343 pounds and live normally 8-10 years (Mastiff Club of America, 1997).

I chose a Chihuahua and her name is Tinkerbelle, she weighs 5 pounds. It is very important when choosing your dog to decide whether you want a puppy or an adult dog, as puppies require more of your time and most adult dogs have already been trained. Tinkerbelle is four years old and trained. Dogs are pack animals by nature. This means that they prefer to be around others. They are happiest in a close relationship with you being there pack leader. Tinkerbelle keeps me very active as she loves to play games, such as fetch, tug-of-war and frisbee.

When not playing, she loves to cuddle and receive as much petting as I will give. Tinkerbelle is very territorial and will bark at anybody who she doesn’t know. She even growls at people who try to come on the property, when outside alone. Dogs are excellent protectors even the littlest ones. They will defend both their home and their people. Dogs are known to bite and will give there life to protect yours. Dogs can be trained to assist the needy. They can help the deaf, the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Tinkerbelle helps my husband as he is 70% deaf.

She lets him know when his phone rings and if someone is at the door. Other breeds are known to lead a blind person safely around obstacles and retrieve items for a person who cannot physically move around, and even help a person who struggles with chronic depression to maintain a more stable mood. Dogs do require a certain amount of training and care. I was lucky as Tinkerbelle already knew the basic commands; sit, stay, and come. She was also leash trained and housebroke. If you get a dog that is not trained you can contact your local pet store for help.

When I got Tinkerbelle I had to take her to a veterinarian for her yearly exam and shots, she only needed the rabies shot which is required by law. If you get a dog it’s a good idea to take him or her in right away to a veterinarian to be sure that your pet is healthy. Dogs need to be bathed and groomed periodically. Tinkerbelle only had to be bathed and have her nails clipped. This has to be done monthly. You could do it yourself, but would need to purchasing dog shampoo, a dog brush, nail clippers (made for dogs), and a little of your time.

Only thing she feels she really needs is food, water, and her walks, which she gets daily. I chose to get Tinkerbelle at my local humane society, because nationwide 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters (Humane Society of Yuma, 2010). Although there is other places such as rescue groups and breeders. Whichever you choose, make sure you research the different breeds in order to find the one that best suits you and your living environment. Tinkerbelle was already microchiped, which will help ensure if she is lost her safe return.

I did have to license her, it is required by law. You can do both microchipping and licensing at your local humane society. If you do your homework, you will end up with a pet just as I have that will make your life happier and healthier. Just remember to buy the items you will need when you bring home your dog. Those items are as followed dog dish, water dish, bed, collar, leash, brush or comb, toys, flea and tick collar or powder, shampoo, food, treats, and dog carrier. The amount of time you put into finding, caring, and buying the needed items for your dog is well worth it.

After all, you will receive all the pluses of a lifelong friend, protector, playmate and helper. Also with your hearing and depression problems it would sure help you. You can’t get any better than these wonderful animals. References: Dogster. 2010. Chihuahua dogs. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://www. dogster. com/breeds/Chihuahua Humane Society of Yuma. 2010. Spay and neuter. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://hsoyuma. com/spayneuter/index. html Mastiff Club of America. 1997. What is a Mastiff. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://www. mastiff. org/MASTIFFFAQ. html

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