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Dogs are a great companion. They brighten your day with their unconditional love and affection. Should everyone get a dog? Let’s see. If you are over 50 and thinking of getting a dog, here are 15 reasons why you should not have a dog.
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Like humans, dogs have their temperament. It ranges from aggressive to docile. You should not have a dog if you are not ready to put in the effort to learn and adapt to the temperament of your furry companion. Just because they cannot speak, does not mean they cannot ‘vocalize’ in other ways.
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You cannot and should not leave a dog on their own, despite how well trained they are. Having a dog means daily grooming sessions, playtime, and long walks. Meeting these can become an issue if you have significant health issues or compromised mobility.
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If your 50-plus years are dependent on a fixed income, it will be challenging to accommodate the cost of raising a dog companion. They need regular trips to the vet, pet grooming, quality food, and physical exercise – all these will come at a cost. This cost can impact your limited financial resources for the next 10 to 15 years.
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A dog becomes a member of your family. If your time is already divided between increasing family obligations, work commitments, volunteering or social work, how will you make space for a dog in between?! They require daily care, companionship, and exercise. You cannot outsource this to someone else.
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You have to bid farewell to spontaneous travel plans. Either you have to find pet care options for your prolonged absence or find travel and accommodation options so that the dog can travel with you. Either way, it is not easy and you have to plan way in advance. If you have a jet-setting lifestyle, do not adopt a dog.
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If you have existing health conditions that require a lot of care and management, you should not think of getting a dog. Dogs also have health conditions. You need time to learn about their zoonotic diseases, their allergies, their behavior, and the like. Evaluate your health conditions before thinking of getting a dog.
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Be prepared to grieve the loss of your pet. This may sound ominous but it is a fact nonetheless. It is likely that you will outlive your pet, and you have to be emotionally prepared. As we age, it becomes tough to handle emotional tolls, and it will impact your overall wellbeing.
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The average life expectancy of a dog is 10 to 15 years. You have to commit long-term to their well-being and care. Do not be the one who takes their pet back to the shelter once they move out of their puppy phase. Do not get a dog if you foresee major changes in your own life.
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Dogs are extremely active, throughout the day. They need daily exercise. Most dogs will find it challenging to adjust to their human’s sedentary lifestyle. Either you have to change your lifestyle to accommodate their energy levels or find a breed which matches yours, which you are unlikely to find.
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Dogs are attached to their human masters. They require constant companionship and attention. You should reconsider having a dog if you have an active social life, frequent social commitments, frequent travel, and anything else that takes you away from your pet for significant periods.
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Like humans, dogs struggle with change as well. While some breeds adapt quickly, some do not, which can lead to their health challenges. If your lifestyle is that of moving places regularly, it could be stressful to the dog and lead to unmanageable behavioral issues later on.
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Big dogs with cramped apartments are a disaster. Like we need ample space to live and breathe, dogs need them too. They should not be confined to a cage, no matter how big it is. Check your home space and then think of getting a dog. Dogs need freedom of movement too and if your existing living conditions cannot accommodate that, you should reconsider your decision.
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Dogs will bark. You cannot shut them up and neither should you try to. You should not get a dog if you have become sensitive to noise with age. If you still want to, go for a breed which is more even tempered or mellow. Even then, they will still bark, even if at a lower decibel.
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A dog without adequate training is a significant challenge if you are unable to adhere to a consistent schedule or if your movement is limited due to health. You need time to address these challenges and it becomes difficult as you age. You need unlimited time and patience, otherwise the living conditions will become a challenge to both.
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Your future living arrangements, such as moving into a smaller apartment or changing location, will have a strong impact on your ability to keep a dog as a pet. This will be followed by your health challenges. Providing constant care to a dog will be a problem if you are struggling with your own health.