Cupid's Pulse Article: Dating with Dogs: Pet ResponsibilitiesCupid's Pulse Article: Dating with Dogs: Pet Responsibilities

By Eric Bittman, CEO/President of Warren London

To say that getting a dog is a huge responsibility is an understatement. From feeding, walking, and picking up after your furry friend to making sure he’s up-to-date on his vaccines and well groomed (with Warren London products, I hope!), he demands a lot of attention. Before rushing into picking out a pet, there are a lot of things to think about and to discuss as a family.

Related Link: What to Discuss Before Getting a Pet Together

Talking about how you plan to divide up responsibilities is extremely important in advance of getting a pup. You and your family members might have busy work and school schedules. Who will watch the dog? How many hours each day will he be alone?

One possibility to discuss is dropping the dog off at a doggy daycare center. Once you’ve decided on daycare, you should consider the expense and discuss who will drop off and pick up your pooch.

Planning a walking and feeding schedule is also extremely important. If you want to bring a young puppy home, the first six to ten months can be very intense — accidents on your antique rug or brand new bed and chewing on the legs of your coffee table or favorite pair of shoes are common. The only way your dog will learn is to be constantly reminded and walked or let outside whenever needed. To make it easier, involve all of your family members and decide who will do each job.

It’s no secret that kids love dogs and often beg their parents for a new puppy. The fun ends once everyone realizes how much work it is! Make sure your children understand the process of housebreaking, grooming, and cleaning up after a dog before bringing a new family member home.

Once the work level is understood, raising a pet will be a rewarding experience and will teach your children responsibility — after all, it’s up to you and your family to keep your new pal both healthy and happy! Having a dog is not all fun and games, but as long as your family understands the work it entails, great memories will be made.

Related Link: Picking Out a Pet

For this month’s celebrity Q&A, I spoke with Steve Cuccio, who appeared on Charles in Charge, became good friends with Scott Baio, and later appeared on the VH1 show Scott Baio is 45 and Single. Known as The Cooch, he was usually the voice of reason for Scott and his friends as they tried to figure out why he couldn’t settle down and get married.

Cupid's Pulse Article: Dating with Dogs: Pet Responsibilities
Q: What kind of dog do you have now?

A: A King Charles Spaniel. 

Q: Did you grow up with dogs? If so, what kind?

A: I grew up with a beagle-cocker mix named Penny.

Q: How did you and your wife decide the rules on training your dog? Did you have different views, or was this a non-issue?

A: We sent our King Charles Spaniel to puppy school at about four months old. It helped her learn simple commands and introduced her to other dog’s butts. We never feed her table food; she is actually on a strict diet from a bout with pancreatitis. She gets fresh Bison meat from Whole Foods, while I eat a microwaved dinner!

Q: Do you feel that your dog has a positive effect on your relationship with your wife and kids?

A: She is very loving and has had a positive effect on my family. 

Q: You got your dog when your daughters were around their middle school years. Did your family set up job responsibilities for your kids prior to getting a dog?

A: The kids said they would walk her and feed her, but in reality, they just play with her and enjoy her.

Q: Does your family use Warren London’s easy to use at home dog spa products to pamper your pup?  Is this a fun bonding time for your family?

A: We use Warren London products, and she loves them, especially her nail polish.

For more information about Eric Bittman, click here. Stay tuned for next month’s Dating with Dogs column!