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Thinking of getting a dog- few questions.

pink_elephant
July 9th, 2007, 12:10 PM
Hi guys,

my family and I are thinking about adopting a dog. We are going to be first time dog owners and I want to make sure that we create a safe and happy house for our pet.

my parents had several pets while growing up and I have read some books on taking care of dogs so we have some basic knowledge. However I thought it would be best to consult and get some feedback from experienced pet owners.

so I have few questions…

breed.
we live in a townhouse style apartment. We don’t have a private yard but it’s a one-story building so we can get outside relatively quickly. It’s a medium size 2 level apartment so there are stairs.
my parent will be @ work & my brother and I will be at school during the day. So the dog will have to be by itself for at least 6hours.
any suggestions on breeds that would suit this type of living condition. I understand each individual dog has different needs. But any suggestions through personal experience?
we are thinking about getting a Beagle, I researched the breed and it seems like they would fit our lifestyle.

dog’s age.
It adopting a puppy a good choice, since we won’t be home during the day? is it alright to leave a puppy by it self?
would a young dog (6months – 1year) be better suited.

How many times a day should you take the dog outside to “relieve” itself. If you take it outside in the morning will it be able to last for 6 hours.
I heard that a puppy needs to relieve itself every few, so it would have o be housebroken, when can it be trained to go outside.

I read a few books on dog (I am not sure if that’s helpful) and it was kind of overwhelming:o Do w need to learn everything before getting a dog or can you take the “lean as you go” approach.

I know I am asking about lot of things, and I would appreciate any advice or suggestions you guys can provide:D

Frenchy
July 9th, 2007, 12:28 PM
First of all , congratulations, too many people still adopt dogs without asking questions first !

I would strongly suggest you consider adopting a rescue , if you contact a rescue and tell them about your family , they can suggest the best "match" for your familiy. Rescues may not have too many puppies , but they do have dogs younger than 1 yr old. A Beagle.... I know some of them love to bark , this might bother your neighbors. But if you find one in a rescue , the foster family will be able to inform you about that particuliar dog.

Also , are your parents ready for this ? They have to think that once you and your brother leave for college or to live on your own , you may not be able to take the dog with you and your parents will have to take care of him/her for the rest of the dog's life. :dog:

LavenderRott
July 9th, 2007, 12:30 PM
Beagles are lovely dogs but not a breed I would necessarily recommend to a novice owner in an apartment/duplex/condo situation. Beagles are hunting dogs and have a tendency to be a bit, ummm, vocal. They also tend to be a bit difficult to train.

My honest opinion - go to your local shelter. You will find some very lovely dogs there and most of them are there through no fault of their own. Often times, you will find that the slightly older dogs are already housebroken.

You might also consider rescueing a greyhound. While one might think they require a ton of exercise - the opposite is true. My mom has one and she is quite adept at entertaining herself when she needs to but she prefers to sleep on her huge bed, the couch, or my mom's bed. As a matter of fact, she has become quite adept at getting the scratchy blanket off the top of mom's bed so that she can sleep on the soft one.:D

pink_elephant
July 9th, 2007, 04:11 PM
I think going to a shelter/rescue and talking to the foster family is the best thing to do. finding out each dog’s individual personality is more important than choosing one based on general breed characteristics.

Frenchy, my parents love dogs but couldn’t have one when we were younger because they were just too busy to take care of a dog. So they are happy to have a companion when we move out.

LavenderRott, I never considered a greyhound, I think I am going to look into that.

Thanks guys for your suggestions:)

sugarcatmom
July 9th, 2007, 04:35 PM
On top of the great advice you've already received, I just thought I'd recommend this website: http://www.dogstardaily.com/ It has some awesome info about dog training, behaviour issues, socialization, and picking out a new dog. There's also a free book download called: BEFORE You Get Your Puppy (http://www.dogstardaily.com/article/you-get-your-puppy) (some of it's relevant for non-puppies as well, and could also help you in your decision).

Let us know what you and your family decide. How exciting!!

jesse's mommy
July 9th, 2007, 04:40 PM
I don't have much more to add that hasn't already been said, but I just wanted to say congratulations and that I think it's wonderful that you are researching everything first. Too many people just get a pet because they are cute and don't think of the effort that one actually has to put in to the care. It's sad that some people don't realize that a pet is for life. So, I applaud you for all the research you are doing. This is a great site with a lot of knowledgable people so please ask as many questions as you need and of course, we expect to see lots of pictures once you and your family find your forever addition to your home. :lovestruck:

Dogastrophe
July 9th, 2007, 05:16 PM
Congrats on doing research prior to getting a dog. Many many people do not do enough research on their pup selection which fuels the need for shelters and rescues.

Over the past couple of years, I have adopted an older dog and two younger (< 1 year old) pups. Although my time with the older one was far too short, I would certainly adopt an older one again. My two young ones were / are far more work than Monty every was.

With older dogs you generally get what you see. Mild mannered ones in a rescue tend to be mild mannered at home. They are their final size, they are most often house trained, they are less likely to chew your house up than a young pup. A 10 year old dog quite often has many great years left. The downside is that they will break your heart far sooner than a puppy but that doesn't mean they don't deserve some wonderful senior days.

Best of luck in your search. Be sure to post back with some pictures when you make your choice.

pink_elephant
July 9th, 2007, 07:38 PM
Thanks for your suggestions and input everyone.

We are in the early stage of researching and is still not 100% sure if we’ll be able to handle having a pet dog.

We want to make sure we give our dog lot of time and attention, and ensure that we are able to provide it with adequate amount exercise. If we are not able to give them all of this then it’s unfair to get dog.

Our biggest concerns are our living situation (apartment) and time/opportunity to walk the dog

We always wanted a dog & a cat. so even if we decide a pet dog isn’t for us, we will still go ahead and adopt a cat. We are quite certain that we’ll be able to handle the work and attention a cat will require.
So if that’s the case then I’ll be back here soon asking for help and suggestions on kitty care :D

Thanks again for your input and I will definitely provide you with an update on what we decides to do :thumbs up

mummummum
July 9th, 2007, 09:36 PM
Please do update us and I hope you stick with our forum. Anyone who loves animals enough that they are so thoughtful to think about animals in advance of bringiong one into their home is "my kinda people". And I'm so pleased to hear you say the word adopt rather than pet store.

I will tell you as a dog person who has had the occasional cat and raised more puppies and kittens than I can shake a stick at ~ I would adopt an older animal again in a heart beat. I brought Declan home 1 1/2 years ago when he was 9-ish. His is a long story ~ but I can tell you I wouldn't have traded a single moment of this last year and half. He has been the perfect addition to complete me and our family. Puppies and kittens ~ pssshaw !

ChancesMom
July 9th, 2007, 09:49 PM
I worked with a few people to develop a list of pet links for a group that I co-run. Not all of the links may pertain to you, however they may pertain to someone else so I will list them all:

http://www.petfinder.org/

http://www.1888pets911.org/index.php

http://www.siberianrescue.com/

http://www.cthumane.org - The Connecticut Humane Society is a non-profit
which does not receive state or federal funding. They also do not have a
time limit and state that pets remain up for adoption until a home is found.

http://afocinc.org/ - Animal Friends of Connecticut is a no-kill all volunteer organization.

http://www.wonderpuppy.net/canwehelp/rehome.htm - Finding a new
home for your pet

http://www.petrescue.com/library/find-adopter.htm - How To Find and
Evaluate A Prospective Pet Adopter

http://www.suesternberg.com/shelterforms/giveaway.pdf - When you
Decide to Give up your Pet

http://www.poainc.org/ - This group has listings of adoptions of cats and dogs as well as pet care information.

http://www.mspca.org - Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

New England Basset Hound Rescue
http://www.nebhr.org/

happycats
July 9th, 2007, 09:50 PM
I admire your wisdom, and your concern for your possible future pet. You are asking all the right questions, and are even caring enough to know that if it's not in the dogs best interest, then you won't get one! BRAVO :thumbs up
I wish everyone considering a pet was like you!

Have you considered maybe fostering a dog? then you would know if a dog is right for your family, as well as helping to save a life:D

Good luck in your research! And if you decide on a kitty, I have 5 so will be happy to help answer your questions:)

Frenchy
July 9th, 2007, 10:11 PM
I admire your wisdom, and your concern for your possible future pet. You are asking all the right questions, and are even caring enough to know that if it's not in the dogs best interest, then you won't get one! BRAVO :thumbs up
I wish everyone considering a pet was like you!



I second that happycats :thumbs up

pink_elephant
July 9th, 2007, 11:21 PM
Thank you so much everyone, I am so glad to know that I am taking the correct steps.

And ChancesMom thanks for the links.


I admire your wisdom, and your concern for your possible future pet. You are asking all the right questions, and are even caring enough to know that if it's not in the dogs best interest, then you won't get one! BRAVO :thumbs up
I wish everyone considering a pet was like you!
thanks happycats:love: and i haven't though about fostering. that maybe a good option.... i should talk to my family about it.


and finally I just want to say, how glad I am to have come across this forum. This is such a friendly and helpful community and made me feel at ease instantly:lovestruck:

I will defiantly stick with this forum, it is incredibly helpful for a new pet owner (or someone who is considering adoption:D)

mummummum
July 9th, 2007, 11:26 PM
I can speak on behalf of all of us easily in saying that we've been happy to help an thoughtful and intelligent future parent !

We look forward to your pix of your first baby !

TMac
July 11th, 2007, 10:02 PM
Hi Pink_elephant,

You already got some great advice, but I just wanted to say how refreshing it is to see someone be so responsible and caring even BEFORE getting a pet! Thank you for thinking this through and doing your research! Welcome to the board!

:highfive:

happycats
July 12th, 2007, 06:50 AM
There are many members here who are, or have been fosters, and I am sure they would be happy to help, and let you know all about fostering.:)

pink_elephant
July 13th, 2007, 09:42 AM
Hey guy, I said I’d give you an update on the situation.

So after a lot of thought we decided NOT to adopt a dog:sad: Because as I said before we just don’t believe we’ll be able to give the attention and time a dog requires.

However we are going to adopt a kitten!!:D :D
I’ve already called/emailed few adoption centers. And “Abandoned Cat Rescue” is having an adopt-a-thon on Saturday, which we’ll attend. So we may get a kitten this weakened!!!:fingerscr

happycats
July 13th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Just a word of advice, kitten's are better to get in pairs:D they LOVE playing and getting into trouble at night, and if they don't have another kitty playmate, then look out, you and your family members become the playmate not such a good thing at 3am when you have to get up for work at 5am! :eek:

want4rain
July 13th, 2007, 10:40 AM
yes yes i second that!! kittens are far far more adjusted when you get them in pairs!!

there's a fair bit of advice on here about cats and how to choose them, care for them once you have them and things you can do to help them adjust to living with you. things like you do NOT want them to play with your hands. they should play with each other or toys so try not to encourage them to play with your skin. it hurts!! LOL! to encourage cats to drink water (which they are not so inclined to do!) keep their water very clean! keep 1 more litter box than cats.... tips like that. :)

we want pics!!!

-ashley

sugarcatmom
July 13th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Yay, so happy that you're gonna do the kitty thing!! I agree with getting two, it's not any more work than one, and in fact will be easier in the long run.

Also, feed wet food!!!! I can't stress this enough (although I'm sure people get tired of me saying it), but cat's need water IN their food, and most dry foods have an inappropriately high amount of carbohydrates. For more on the feline diet, check this out: http://www.catinfo.org/

Of course posting pictures here will be mandatory when you do finally bring them home! :D

pink_elephant
July 13th, 2007, 11:19 AM
thanks for the tips:)
maybe i'll adopt a pair of sibilings since they'll already be bonded.

bendyfoot
July 13th, 2007, 11:20 AM
Been following this thread from the start...I tip my hat to you, dear responsible future pet-owner! Or should I say kitty-owner?:D
Can't wait to see the pics of your new baby(ies?)...I hope the purrrrfect one finds you this weekend!:fingerscr

want4rain
July 13th, 2007, 06:14 PM
bonded sibs were the best decision we ever made lol!! i only wanted one... my hubby came to me with the two boys (a gray tux and a black tux) and said "but honey, they match the furniture!!!"

-ash

happycats
July 13th, 2007, 06:50 PM
I just love male cats, I find them more affectionate, and much better play mates for eachother.

Females are great, but I find they do better alone, or with another female.

I had 6 cats (5 now) 4 males and 2 females, the males bugged and were mean to the girls, but played great with eachother, whereas the girls HATED the boys, and only played with eachother. I lost one female, so my remaining female is quite lonely :sad: so she spends all her time with me.

pink_elephant
July 14th, 2007, 03:52 PM
ok everyone i got some news.
we adopted TWO kittens today!!!:D

i will give more info and upload some pictures when i get the time.
we are quite busy today:cat::cat:

sugarcatmom
July 14th, 2007, 04:03 PM
Woohoo!!! Congratulations on the new additions to your family. What are their names? How old are they? And of course, can't wait to see some pics . . . .

happycats
July 14th, 2007, 05:18 PM
CONGRATULATIONS !!!

On your new furbabies!!!:)

Can't wait to see pics!!!

Frenchy
July 14th, 2007, 06:54 PM
Congratulations on the new family members :cat: :cat:

Amanda_girl
July 20th, 2007, 04:06 PM
Congratulations! I think getting two kittens was a great idea!

Just over 8 years ago, we adopted two kittens from the Humane Society, brother and sister. It was the best thing we could've done. Its amazing not only having them in your home, but watching them interact with eachother.
They would play together, sleep together, and get into trouble together. I've never laughed more than when they were together!

I wish you and your kittens all the best!!

heidiho
July 20th, 2007, 04:32 PM
Okay it has been about 6 days where are some pics of your new family members.

rainbow
July 21st, 2007, 01:31 AM
Okay it has been about 6 days where are some pics of your new family members.


I second that. :D

pink_elephant
July 21st, 2007, 10:00 AM
i posted them in a new thread :cat: :cat:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42638

rainbow
July 21st, 2007, 02:35 PM
:laughing: Ooooops....my memory failed me again :o and I should have remembered those two cuties. :lovestruck: In fact, they're soooo adorable, I think you should post more pics. :thumbs up