The Sentinel

8 things to think about before bringing home a dog

June 7, 2022
Whether you are adopting a dog or buying one, you must know why you want a dog and decide on the breed accordingly. Khal, our large hunting and athletic mastiff needs at least two hours of exercise every day. He has helped us become more outdoorsy and active, something we enjoyed doing before the lockdown. He has a short coat, so doesn't shed too much and is also a sturdy dog.
It’s crucial you spend a lot of time with your pup to bond with him. Getting a walker or hiring a full-time help doesn’t make the cut. Add to that, the time you will invest in preparing his food or taking him to a vet. “If you are getting a dog to just pet him for a couple of minutes in the morning and at night, don’t get one,” says Katyal.
Make a list of everything you will have to spend on including food, medical expenses, collar, leash, bed, toys, bowls, shampoo, dental sticks, treats, supplements, crate, car seat covers, feeding bowls, pet insurance, etc. Only if you can manage to sustain his needs for the next 12 to 17 years, get him home
Raising a pet is a lot of work and you will need your family to help you take him on walks, baby sit him while you are travelling for a work assignment or going for an occasional night out with friends. My husband’s parents baby sits Khal often. But my parents are just too scared of dogs.
Home and neighbourhood
We live in a housing society that has many pets. Despite that, a few residents objected to Khal playing in one of the smaller gardens in our large society. To silence the haters, we had to circulate the animal welfare mandate in our society’s Whatsapp group, which allows a pet to use all the areas and amenities of the society
Many dog owners I know feed their dogs just curd-rice and khichdi. This is a big no-no. You have to consult with your vet or an animal nutritionist about the right food for your dog. “Many vegetarians insist feeding their dogs veg food, even big ones, which need meat,” says Katyal. “Such dogs usually develop health issues and skin diseases," says Katyal.
Most people don’t take training seriously. By training a dog, you can communicate with him, set necessary boundaries, teach him to be friendly with other humans and dogs and learn how to handle it well. “In my 15-year-plus practice, I have seen 80% clients abandon their dog because it develops some behavioural issues,” says dog trainer Srinivas Jakkani.
Hygiene and cleaning
A dog will come home with dirty paws, will salivate and will shed, which means you will have to dust your house every day, sometimes, twice a day and broom and sweep that often as well. Are you game for that?