Why you must research before you buy a pet!
12 years of grooming, I know shit.
Let me start with this...I am a retired Master Groomer that worked for a large pet corporation for 13 years...I have seen it all, and yes I am pretty much an expert in dogs and cats skin and fur health, also as a groomer I know pet breeds and behaviors, so I was good at pairing the right breed with the right families.
For example: If you are a very busy family...say you and your spouse work 12 hour days then have to pick up the kids from 8 hours at school, and take Janet to piano practice for an hour and Jimmy to soccer for two hours, then everyone goes home, and the kids still have homework and you still have to cook a meal, and do some extra work before bed...you might think about "not" getting a pet. The pet would clearly be neglected because who is going to feed, walk, and play with the pet? nobody because after a day of just being busy, your all too tired. So, please do your research before you buy or adopt a pet.
There are thousands of pet breeds, and the thought of getting a dog for little Susie when she is a newborn is going to be a serious challenge! I get it, you want them to grow up together, but now not only are you raising a brand new baby who needs constant attention, your also training another baby of a different type. Puppies need almost constant attention, training and care. There is feeding them, taking them out every two hours for potty breaks, mostly to train them not to go in the house, keeping them occupied so they don't chew the legs of the tables, or the heels off your $300 shoes. Also if you think about it, they won't "grow up together" because dogs age 7 times faster than humans do. Remember that pets at one year old are already matured by seven years and by the time your child turns 7, your dog is a senior. I get the other end of this spectrum too, it teaches your child how to care for them, but I did this with my child, and by the time he was 7, he was no longer interested in the dog because he had new friends so I ended up taking the dog for walks, cleaning up after him, and he became my dog. Now I am not bashing anyone who wants to have a baby and a puppy, because some people are awesome at motherhood and pet parenting at the same time and totally handle it with no problem, but MOST of the time(especially if your a first time mommy), the dog gets neglected or is allowed to terrorize the house because nobody had time to train them properly or take them to be trained, so now you have a dog running around chewing up everything and going potty everywhere. Know this! once they start going in the house, it's almost impossible to break the habit, because they "think" that is where they are "supposed" to go, and until you break the habit, it will continue, thus having a home that smells like...a dog latrine...and that is not the most sanitary condition to raise a brand new baby in. I recommend taking them to a reputable trainer for that and the basic commands like sit, come, stay, and heel you'll be glad you did, because the trainer is also training you about how to train your pet and understand how they see things through a "dogs eye" view. In the long run it's your choice, I just want you to be well informed because I can't tell you how many times I have heard clients tell me "well, the dog was just out of control so we had to get rid of it" and that is not fair to the dog, because now this poor little animal has fallen in love with your family, and your just going to toss him away like an old pair of shoes? This actually causes the dog to develop separation anxiety among other issues, and this can last a lifetime. Also, be ready to invest a lot of money in your pet, they are not cheap to own, there is dog food, vet visits for shots, health checks, spay/neutering, and then there is grooming as well. Now if you get a short haired chihuahua, you can do most of it yourself, but you will need to get other things done by a groomer...such as nails and anal gland squeezing...yes, it's a thing, a very important thing if you want your pets bowel health to remain...healthy.
Also, let me say this! YOU DO NOT KNOW MORE THAN YOUR GROOMER!!! LISTEN TO THEM THEY ARE VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THIER FIELD! I get that you will think it's horribly expensive, but you need to understand that your pet is NOT the angel you see at home when they are at the groomers, most dogs will act up, also it's not "A spa day" for your pet, it's horrifying! do you enjoy getting a surgery? or a root canal? that is what your dog thinks of grooming. Imagine being dropped of with someone you have never met, immediately taken and put in a bathtub, soaped and rinsed(which most dogs think they are being drowned, so the reaction to it can be a bit wild), then blown half to death by a high powered dryer, have some grinder buzzing your toenails off as well as having all your hair shaved off or brushed out, then stuck in kennel, in a very noisy place until you leave. I gotta tell ya, I would be running out the door too. I was always very gentle with all the pets I ever groomed, but there are some things you can't help(the blow dryer for instance) that is going to scare your pet(and doing all of this to a puppy can be life scarring). Be inquisitive when selecting a groomer, not all groomers are the same, you need to be sure to match the right groomer to your dog. Make sure your dog actually likes the groomer, and insist that they take the time to get to know your pet, not just grab them and drag them to a kennel. I never did that, and would not trust any groomer who does. Those are the ones who just want to make money, with no regard for your pet, there are some out there, but most of us will love your pet like they were ours. Also, please do your homework on a good vets as well, ask around to friends with pets, look at the reviews online, check them out thoroughly, then make an informed decision. now...on to cats and why I think they are the perfect apartment pet.
Cats are a species unto their own and like dogs there are thousands of different types and breeds and you really either love them, hate them or like myself, you just love all animals and think that baby alligators are cute too. I was a dog person for most of my life until I married my husband and we got our two cats Raider and Criminal. Now I am a fervent cat lover, and will always have them and here's why in some instances they are a better choice:
1. They don't need to be walked! So no taking poop bags with you to "clean up" after them, however you do have to scoop the cat box...once per day and change it out about once a month. Not real tough. however, on the other side of that, taking the dog for a walk, is good for you as well...unless you worked a 14 hour day, like nurses do.
2. they can groom themselves, so no baths necessary, they will need their nails clipped about every 6 weeks, but if you start when they are young, you can also do that yourself. All cat nails are white so no chance of quicking them, and once you train them to be still for nails(by giving a treat after) then it's easy peasy! Long haired cats do require some grooming because they tend to get tangles(matts) in their fur if you don't brush them a lot.
3. Cats are fiercely independent. they really only need humans to feed, water, and scratch them, other than that, they could care less. My boys are super love bugs, so they require scratches on their head and rear several times a day, as well as their bellies. Dogs are just as loving, probably more than a cat, and they are certainly more loyal.
4. They can be left alone at home. They don't bark or whine, they won't get into the trash, they don't chew up your $100 shoes, and they can potty in a sandbox so no worries about running home from work to let them out. Also, just leave the food and water out, most cats are free feeders, so no over eating. Some cats are little pigs but not very often. Most dog owners I know, can't leave the dog home alone for long periods, unless they are well trained...I don't know very many who are. I do always get someone to help with scooping and feedings if we are out of town, but they merely need pop in and do those little jobs, then they are free to leave, because my boys don't really require much attention, they attend to each other for company.
Don't get me wrong, cats are jerks at times, they love knocking crap off of anyplace they can, they tend to spread their litter boxes around the house, and if you have two or more, they fight sometimes. They will wake you for no reason, with their paws or by yowling so loudly that you can't possibly sleep through it. They are also famous for trying to trip you and kill you, but they are also trainable and very smart, super quirky, but wonderfully funny to watch. I wouldn't trade my boys for anything.
There you have it. Hopefully this little article will help you make a more informed decision when choosing a pet. I wish you luck on your endeavor.
If you liked this article, please give me a heart, and if you're feeling especially grateful...a tip. Thank you in advance.