Are you considering getting a family dog this holiday season? Or perhaps gifting a dog to an elderly family member or friend with the best of intentions, i.e. to give them companionship? While New York City may be one of the friendlier dog cities in the U.S., with off-leash hours in parks and new legislation that allows our four-legged friends to join us for outdoor dining, there are a few things to think about before getting a dog.
1. Time Sandra DeFeo, the executive director of the Humane Society of New York, advises that you should plan on dedicating at least five hours per day to your furry friend between walking, feeding, training and other care.
2. Money According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), owners of medium-size dogs should expect to budget around $1,800 for the first year (not including insurance and incidental medical expenses). Frequency of dog walkers and extent of doggie wardrobes can inflate these costs.
3. Space For most dogs, apartment living is not a problem... as long as you're willing to spend daily time with them outdoors. The more exercise the breed needs, the more time you will need to spend, both with them as they run and in transit to a place where they can really stretch their legs.
4. Weather Like the United States Post Office, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these
couriers canines from the swift completion of their appointed sniffing rounds.
5. Alternative Plans Much like all humans should have the top three to provide for their families: Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directive, dogs (and cats, and birds, and any other pet) need to be considered, especially if the pet parent is aging. If you are not prepared to assume care for the animal that you are gifting to a friend or family member, perhaps it's a better idea to consider another type of gift.
Source: The New York Times