Should we get a Dog?

One of the women whom I babysit for called me last week to ask if I would be willing to watch a puppy for her when I while I babysit her children. In all honesty, though I think that puppies are cute and I like dogs, I am not real big on dogs in general.

I am a cat person, plain and simple.

But this article will deal with the reasons why I do not want a dog myself and, therefore, why I will not get one and I do not want to dog-sit. As well as why I do not think that they are the best pets for those who are gone for long periods of time.

I actually did puppy sit for my sister, but I don’t really know enough about dogs to do this with the greatest of success.

  • Dogs need to be let out to go to the bathroom. I have been told that smaller dogs can be litter trained, though.
  • Dogs need to be walked. This is fine with me, when they are small I can do this, but when they are big and are stronger than me, I cannot physically walk them. They are then walking me.
  • Dogs are loud. As a person who walks often, I can tell you that this is the most annoying thing that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I walk past the same houses and trailers nearly every day, and the same dogs bark at me excessively each day. This is very nerve racking when you are walking to dispel stress. They see you every day. Dogs can be trained to only bark at those entering your yard.
  • Dogs need to be trained to behave properly. This is so important, but if you are not home all day long six days a week, how can you train them? However, once trained a dog can stay inside – even if in a kennel – for long periods of time.
  • Too many people do not scoop the poop! Gross! While puppy sitting, I scooped the poop. It’s the law for a reason!
  • Dogs get loose, go into neighbors yards to menace them, play or relieve themselves. My yard is my yard. I like to walk barefoot. If the neighbors dog gets into my yard, they should be there to scoop the poop.
  • Dogs do not always like to be outside for any real period of time. Your neighbor does not want to hear your dog barking and whining to be let in during her normal sleep hours. For some of us, that will have us up for hours every night when we should be sleeping.

Now, there are good points to having a dog, companionship and protection being the two biggest benefits as far as I can see. Which does make them great assets to a family. I just think that you should think twice about getting a dog if you are gone for long periods of time each day. Dogs like to be near their people.

I do believe that the use of a kennel is important in training, especially when your dog is trying to eat everything in site. But I’m not sure if I like the thought of them in kennels all day long. I would really have to consider that if I ever did decide to get a dog.

I guess the issue with me puppy sitting for the woman mentioned before is that she wants me to take the dog into my home. Now, I would not be able to go to her house every day to take care of the dogs needs, but I am even less likely to have the dog in my home. I have five cats. They don’t like other animals. I do not have time to go to her house to take care of the dog.

Yes, when her nine year old daughter is not in school she could be looking after the dog, but in my experience, children soon lose interest in the demands of a dog when they are the ones who are mainly responsible for their care. Taking care of the dog cuts into their lives, and I’m not sure that I would want that for my child.

On the other hand, it would teach the child responsibility. But I still think that a family effort would be best.

I am really interested in hearing other peoples thoughts on this topic. Please respond in the comments below if you have any advice for children having dogs.

Shannon