Dog owners and where you live in NJ
We have had one or more dogs in our household for two decades. Maybe even a cat or two at times, too.
But dog owners have unique issues to deal with depending on where they live!
Dog ownership is a major league commitment
Before we continue – it’s important to stress that caring for another living being (that’s not a plant) is a major league commitment.
No one should ever care for a dog or cat unless they understand the level of attention (along with expenses) that comes along with that responsibility.
It’s not just because the puppy was cute at the pet store or whatever nonchalant reason some folks take possession of an animal.
We’ve seen many instances where irresponsible people got dogs or cats, only to cause suffering to the poor animals. Don’t be that person. Know what you’re getting into before you are involved in an animal cruelty situation, okay?
Dog care is wildly different depending on where you live!
We’ve had dogs in every imaginable situation. Big cities. Tight-knit suburbs. And even rural properties with tons of space.
Each locale has its own set of issues and blessings. Let’s take a look.
Apartment dogs in the city
When you live in a city, there is a good chance you live in close proximity to others. And you might not have a yard. Therefore, you have two important aspects of dog ownership to be concerned about.
- Walking your dog. City dogs have to be walked at least three times a day, preferably more (four, five is ideal). You need to prepare for that. And if you have a job, you need a dog walker, which is an added expense. Don’t forget those city laws require picking up the poop, too.
- Noise. Having a troublesome barking dog can cause you trouble with neighbors. Whether it’s a yapping maniac or just an emotionally sad dog with separation anxiety, you need to have consideration for those who live within earshot of you.
Having dogs in the suburbs shares some aspects of city dogs, with some differences.
- Dog walks are optional. If you have a fenced-in yard, it’s possible to not be burdened with the same colossal walking commitment. Either “letting them out” or even going as far as to install electronic dog doors, the level of walking maintenance might decrease. But if you have a very small yard, some longer walks would be good for the dogs. However…
- Poop pickup now becomes an issue. If you want to enjoy your freshly manicured lawn, you also have to be diligent with picking up after them. Easier with one pooch, but gets increasingly difficult the more dogs you have – as well as how large your yard is. I’ve seen some families have separate outdoor areas for the dogs, which is not a bad idea.
- Noise. This too is a problem in the suburbs. But not so much your dog barking inside the house, but rather a yapping dog outside in the yard – especially late at night. Many neighborhood disputes can be attributed to insensitive dog owners who could care less how their animals are disturbing the peace.
(Hidden Secret – the social aspect of dog runs!)
Dog runs in cities in particular, are HUGE social meetups. When many dog owners frequent a dog park, they tend to get to know each other. This repetition can lead to romance in many cases.
In fact, our growing family was a direct result of a city dog park. So that is something to keep in mind, as long as you are a responsible dog owner.
Please don’t be a reckless dog owner simply for the chance to hook up with some hottie. That just isn’t right for the poor dog!
If you have many acres of land far away from other neighbors – rural dogs present another unique set of circumstances. In most cases – noise is rarely an issue.
- Dogs almost do not need walks. If you have many acres and have installed an electronic fence (or a very costly physical perimeter fence), your dog or dogs could have a lot of freedom. Some even do work on the farm (sheepdogs, etc.) This is good.
- Poop pickup again! Having lots of space for dogs to roam on is good for their health (vast distances to run, exercise), but it presents its own logistical nightmare. Imagine having three or more acres to patrol for poop? What about 10 or 20 acres? It’s a tremendous undertaking, and is why they have professional poop-picker-uppers out there now! Again, a good reason why it might help to have your own personal dog run to limit the coverage area.
- Escape (wild animals). Living in a rural section brings a unique (and frequent) quagmire.
Wild animals. Bear. Fox. Rabbits. Deer. Some dogs go nuts when they see some of the native animals that live in rural areas. This is why you need to either procure a bullet-proof perimeter fence – or turn your electronic fence on level 5 if you want to be sure your canine doesn’t get decimated by an animal 10x it’s strength.
The type of dog plays a huge role in your life
This is important. There are many kinds of dogs out there. Tiny toy dogs, all the way up to massive, almost horse-like behemoths. And everything in-between.
Calm dogs. Hyper dogs. Quiet dogs. Loud-mouth dogs. The list goes on.
Some people prefer Aussies. Others prefer Chiuauas. Or Poodles. Or Dalmatians. Or Great Danes. It’s important to pick the right dog for your locale.
I’ve seen puny dogs terrified of the city. And at the same time, massive dogs over-sized for that same city dog run. Or aggressive Pit Bulls that didn’t belong in a city environment (most likely due to bad owners).
Labs seem like the one-size-fits-all type of breed, in our opinion. Other than the differences between individual dog personas, they seem to be the easiest to manage. Dopey, but workable. It’s important to understand your particular dog’s personality if you choose to relocate. Some canines take well to adjustments, others do not.
Remember the commitment
Regardless of where you live or what you do, owning a pet is a tremendous part of your life.
Pet ownership is supposed to bring joy to everyone involved (you and your pet(s)). If at any given point something suffers – it should be time to re-analyze the situation.
If you’re stressed of financially burdened – consider finding your pet(s) a new, more capable home.
If your pets are suffering from lack of exercise, love, or attention – please do the same – find them a loving home.
And of course, we understand that there are times when circumstances become tough. Usually financial, but also when families break up – the pets are the ones that also suffer. Always do your best to make sure they find a nice place, okay?
Pet ownership is an interesting subject
In the end – I find the whole subject about domesticated pet ownership fascinating.
It certainly can bring joy and happiness to many people. Dogs, in particular, are very social animals with distinct personalities and character. Often a way to “pass time,” or even separate yourself from a troubling situation brewing in the house (relationship issues).
They add interest to a human beings life.
While at the same time, they indeed cause financial burden as well. Food, healthcare, maintenance. I only imagine how much more money many of these dog-owning families would have if they never had pets. We do value the importance of living a simple life – so why do so many people choose to involve domesticated pets in their lives?
We also have theories about these peculiar companions. For instance, I cannot verify how it came to be. I recall something about Egypt back in my youth, but is there a bigger plan? Was the purpose of domesticated animals perhaps to propagate an entire industry of food, toys, and medical care?
Maybe I’m digging too deep, but it’s always a good idea to ask questions that go deeper than the common short attention span.
That’s it for this article. Do you have pets? What are your good stories? Does anyone have any regrets? Share your honest feelings in the comments section below!