Chapter 1
How To Know If A Dog Is The Right Pet For You

Space Needed

Dogs need space, both inside and outside your home. But even if you live in a tiny apartment, as long as they get the exercise they need there are small, medium and even large dog breeds that will be happy in your home. Many large or even giant breeds need little exercise so can be kept in a small space for their size. But, these breeds do need an ample area to lie down, as much as 4′ x 8′ which is the size of a large sofa. Don’t forget that the dog’s supplies, especially bedding or crate also take space.

One thing that people sometimes forget is planning an outdoor area for their dog. Tying a dog outdoors limits their activities. Tying a dog outside for extended periods is unlawful in some areas. City-dwellers should look for a fenced area that welcomes dogs. Suburban homeowners should consider fencing at least part their yard to provide their dog with a safe play area. Although a dog can be paper trained, if you live where there is no outdoor area available, you might reconsider getting a dog.

Consideration of Neighbors

You’re not the only person you must consider when you’re thinking about getting a dog. If you live in an apartment, or even in a city where you live close to neighbors, you must also consider them. Will your dog have a place to run without disturbing the neighbors? Do you have outdoor space that prevents your dog from destroying your neighbor’s flower beds or lawn? When you’re thinking about getting a dog, make sure you can meet the following neighborly considerations:

Keep your dog from roaming. If you don’t have a way to prevent your dog from roaming, you must always walk your dog on a leash. It’s inconsiderate to let your dog dig in your neighbor’s garden or chase their cat. In most areas, it is unlawful to let a dog outside and not keep him under control. If your dog runs free, your neighbors can call animal control. This can result in having to bail your dog out of the local animal shelter and a fine.

Because some pounds have so little space, they euthanize dogs in as little as seven to ten days after they receive them. Some people dislike dogs so much they will poison or shoot a dog if they stray onto their property. So make sure you can address your dog’s outdoor needs without disturbing your neighbors.

Don’t let your dog bark incessantly. Don’t assume you can leave your dog outside all day. This can lead to a bored dog that constantly barks. Don’t let your dog bark continuously indoors either, especially if you live in an apartment. The noise a barking dog makes can carry through walls and disturb your neighbors. This could get you in trouble with your landlord or your condo association if you live in a condominium.