A Pet Companion

Authored by Jean-Marc Graff

If you want to buy a pet or already own one, this page is for you.

Before making up your mind for a dog or a cat, ask yourself the right questions. For example:

    • What are the real reasons urging us in owning a pet?
    • Is this desire selfish or is it shared by the entire family?
    • Have we discussed the matter adequately?
    • What are our expectations of this pet?
    • Are these expectations reasonable?
    • Can this pet fulfill our expectations?
    • Are our living conditions compatible with the presence of a pet?
    • Are we ready to put in a lot of time and patience?
    • Are we aware that this is a long term commitment?
    • Are we ready to invest in the relationship without blaming the pet if it doesn’t turn out the way we planned.
    • Are we aware that this pet will only be what we want it to be?
    • Are we aware that this relationship, like any human relationship, will develop with time?

To these questions, we should add:

    • Are we ready to give the appropriate care for the well being of the dog?
    • Can we afford the food and medical bills?

Should I Have a Dog?

Unlike the cat, the dog is a social animal. He needs to live within a group and to know exactly where he stands within this group.

This particular feature leads to a dominant/dominated dog/human relationship, where the rules of the game must be clearly specified and consistent. If you want a dog, ask yourself these questions:

    • Are we willing to take him out many times a day, summer or winter, throughout his life?
    • Will we be consistent with him in our daily life ? ( Many behaviour problems often originate from the master’s inconsistency.)
    • Are we willing to accept the damages the puppy might do during the first weeks of his new life with us ?

If you answered yes to these 3 questions above, you might consider getting a dog. But know that breed does not ensure a particular social behaviour. Whether your dog is a good companion or a destructive pet will depend upon the way he has been treated.

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