Dog Sharing: Is a Part Time Pup a Good Idea?
The question of whether or not it’s a good idea to share your pet with another person is one that many people have been asking themselves lately. There are some benefits and drawbacks to having someone else care for your pets while you’re at work, but there are other advantages too. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to consider all the pros and cons of doing so before making up your mind.
Benefits of Dog Sharing
There are several reasons why you might want to share your pet with others. Here are just a few:
You don’t have time to take care of them yourself. You may feel like you’re missing out if you don’t share your pets with others.
A friend could use the extra help when they come over for dinner. They’d probably appreciate it more than you would!
Someone else could give you a ride home from work if you get lost.
Another family member could come over and take care of the animals while you’re away. (It’s always better to have someone around)
In any case, here are some of the most common arguments against dog sharing:
“I’m not going to let anyone else touch my dog!” some people say, believing that their dog will become jealous if they share with others.
There’s always the risk of something happening to your pet while it’s in someone else’s hands, like getting hurt or worse.
If a dog bites or attacks someone, the owner could get in trouble and be held accountable for that injury in a court of law.
In any case, there are benefits and drawbacks no matter what you decide. Just keep all of this in mind as you make your final decision.
More information: Should you get a dog?
Sharing a Pup
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to get a dog, consider sharing one instead. Here are some advantages to doing so:
You can try living with a furry friend without having to surrender your entire life to them.
Your pup gets to go to many places that it normally wouldn’t have access to.
You won’t have to walk your dog as much and they can get the exercise they need with their new owner.
There are far fewer accidents in a multi-pet household, resulting in a cleaner house.
And here are some of the most common cons:
Your friend may not be able to afford the price that the shelter asks for the dog. It’s unfortunate, but this can happen with purebreds and mixed breeds alike.
Your friend may not want to go through the hassle of adoption, which means you’ll be solely responsible for all costs and responsibility.
If you’re still set on getting a dog after reading this, then setting up a meeting with a shelter or rescue group to get a better idea of which one will fit your lifestyle is the first step you’ll want to take. Most shelters will have an assortment of different dogs of different ages, shapes, and sizes for you to choose from. Just keep in mind that you should only choose a dog that is healthy and has all of its shots.
Be sure to ask the shelter workers as many questions about the dog as possible before you leave. If you have children, find out if they’re good around dogs and what kind of personality the furry friend has. You should also know whether or not the dog is housebroken, since this will prevent any accidents in the future.
Once you’ve found a dog (and possibly one for your friend as well) that you think will fit into your home, it’s time to take them home and introduce them to their new family and friends. While you may be excited to have a dog, they may need some time to get used to their new surroundings. It usually takes a few days for them to get acclimated to their new life. Take it slow and easy when interacting with your new friend, since most dogs can sense tension and may become skittish.
As you spend more time with your new pet, you’ll develop a bond beyond words. Their antics will fill you with joy and laughter, regardless of how bad of a day you’re having. Dogs truly are man’s best friend.
More information: A guide to your new dog
After you’ve brought your new furry friend home, there are some things you’ll need to do in order to take care of them. Even if you’ve owned a dog in the past, taking care of one as a grown up is different than when you were younger. Here is a list of essentials that every dog owner will need:
Other items that may be necessary include:
Toys: Dogs love to play so having some toys lying around the house is a good idea. Pick up after themselves: Like little kids, dogs will have a tendency to drop their toys everywhere. Be prepared to pick them up after they’re done playing with them. Grooming supplies: Although most dogs are content with getting a quick brush every now and then, you may find that your dog enjoys being shampooed and blown dry using a professional grade tool . Collar and leash: Just like when you were a kid, your dog will need a way to get around.
A collar and leash are the most common way of going about this, but make sure that neither is too tight nor too loose. Food and water dishes: You’ll need two different dishes; a food dish and a water dish. The water dish will need to be cleaned every day while the food dish can be emptied every few days. Trash can: Dogs will eat almost anything, including trash. Make sure to keep your dog’s reach from the trashcan. Professional grade shampoo: Although most dogs can get by with the pet store brands, some breeds will benefit from a higher quality shampoo designed specifically for their coat type.
Water: Just like people, dogs are composed primarily of water. As such, they need it in order to live. Dogs are also incredibly wasteful with water and will oftentimes leave the water running until it’s all flowing out onto the floor. To remedy this, make sure to give your dog regular water bowls throughout the day.
Baby Gate: Some dogs are escape artists and will find a way to get out of their pens if given enough time. To contain your dog, you may need to invest in a baby gate that can keep them in a certain part of the house. Cleaning products: Although dogs don’t sweat like people do, they still produce oils and can get stained throughout the day. Make sure to have some stain remover and other cleaners on hand to prevent any accidents from ruining your flooring.
Chew toys: Dogs love to chew, especially as puppies when their teeth are coming in. Make sure that you have a large selection of chew toys for your dog so that they don’t end up chewing on your shoes or the corner of the television.
A Few Notes On Training
Dogs, much like children, do not come into this world knowing everything that they need to know in order to live a successful life. Much like raising any child, you will have to put in the work in order to get the results that you’re looking for.
Do not be discouraged if training your dog takes a lot of time and effort, that is just part of the process. When it comes to housebreaking your dog, it can take anywhere between 2-6 months to fully train them to go outside. You cannot give in and let them sleep in your bed or let them inside anytime they want, otherwise they’ll never truly learn where they’re supposed to be.
While training your dog may seem like a lot of work, the benefits are worth it. Not only will you have a happier dog that’s not chewing up your shoe collection, but they can also become great protectors when you have people over or if you’re ever confronted outside.
If you do not have the time or energy to train a dog yourself, there are also professionals who can do it for you. Most of them offer both training lessons and boarding for your dog. Although these services can be expensive, they do guarantee results so it may be well worth the price.
When hiring a trainer, make sure to interview them to find out what methods they use. Some trainers rely on positive reinforcement where as others believe in using intimidation and fear. Neither of these methods is wrong, but it’s best to at least know how a trainer intends on handling your dog before handing them over.
Some dogs are just harder to train than others, but there is nothing wrong with admitting defeat. If you have attempted to train your dog yourself and just cannot get the results that you want, you can always give up and put your dog up for adoption. It’s not the ideal situation, but it’s better to give your dog to a family who can provide for them than to keep them around and never truly be happy.
You’re probably wondering, who would give up a dog that they’ve invested so much time and money in?
Many people do, and it’s all because they don’t realize how much work is truly involved. Dogs require constant attention and if you go away to college or have a demanding job, you might end up struggling to find the time to care for them properly. If you aren’t prepared to make that time commitment, it’s best that you do not get a dog at all.
Still, if you’re committed and determined to get a dog, then by all means go and do so. Just be sure to take these tips into consideration before making your final decision.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Raising and training a livestock-guarding dog (JR Lorenz, L Coppinger – 1996 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu)
- From puppy to service dog: raising service dogs for the rehabilitation team (S Modlin – Rehabilitation Nursing, 2001 – Wiley Online Library)
- The power of prison pups: The impact of the NEADS program on inmate dog trainers, MCI/Framingham, and the community (JD Drew, C Dearborn, M Evans, A Gagne, D McBean… – Laselle College, 2013 – neads.org)
- New Knowledge of Dog Behavior (C Pfaffenberger – 2001 – books.google.com)
- Communication technology for human-dog interaction: exploration of dog owners’ experiences and expectations (M Paldanius, T Kärkkäinen… – Proceedings of the …, 2011 – dl.acm.org)
- Saving Gracie: How one dog escaped the shadowy world of American puppy mills (C Bradley – 2010 – books.google.com)