TIME NEEDED FOR A PET
The type of dog that you purchase has one important ingredient and that is the time needed for a pet that you have to dedicate to raising the dog and caring for it. Caring for it does not just mean feeding and watering the animal but the time needed for a pet to take the animal to and from the veterinarian for medical care, walking the dog plus obedience training. A dog is a perpetual toddler. Remember that a dog can not drive a car so you have to continually take care of the pet that totally depends upon YOU for everything.
Anyone with some time can own a dog but there are high maintenance and low maintenance dogs. People working long hours, particularly the couple both working with young children, will be hard pressed to have the time needed for a pet. Dogs that require CONSTANT grooming like the Poodle, Maltese and many other toy breeds demand a lot of time. Those short on time might select a terrier type dog like a West Highland Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer or a Cairn Terrier. Terriers are spunky, low maintenance pets that do not shed. They require just a periodic combing and grooming to look their best.
Another question to ask yourself is indirectly related to time. How much time is the pet going to be by itself? What are you going to do when everyone is at work or at school? This depends upon the size and age of dog. If you own an older dog that sleeps a lot than coming home on your lunch hour to let the animal out for a bit will be okay. However, if you did the same thing with a young Labrador Retriever you might come home to something resembling John Belushi’s “Animal House”! Solutions for pets involve: crating, confining the pet to a small area using a childs’ gate, leaving the pet outside if you have a fence, doggy day care at your veterinarians office or at your neighbors. There are also pet service companies that do this for a living. They will come to your home, walk/feed the dog, change water bowls, empty cat litter boxes and the like.
Time needed for a pet when it comes to cats is minimal; except those people that own Persians, Himalayans and other long haired cats that require constant combing. The feline is a nocturnal animal. While you are at work they are at home sleeping. Just making sure the cat is fed, has clean litter and water; well that is about it! This is the reason why cats can be left by themselves over a weekend in a home; not a dog! Basically, low maintenance creatures.