Why You Should Get a Dog


Reuben McGuire, Staff writer

“I would say they are the most loyal of all animals,” Canadian veterinarian Patrick O’Grady said when asked about dogs. Dogs were listed as the third most common pet in the US in 2018 according to statista.com.

Dr. O’Grady has worked as a veterinarian for 45 years in Ireland and Canada, where he currently lives. He explained the reason for dogs’ popularity: “People think that they know their dog very well, for as their dog spends all its time observing them, watching them, to see what they want,” O’Grady explained, “as a pack animal, a dog sees itself as part of the pack, and part of the pack is taking care of everyone.” 

O’Grady was asked about getting a dog from an animal shelter, which often offer older dogs who have been given up by their owners, or a pet store, which usually sell pure bred puppies, and he replied that animal shelters can be risky, but also rewarding. “Most veterinarians would recommend an animal shelter because animal shelters are looking for homes for dogs that people have had to let go of for some reason. Maybe they’re abandoned, maybe the owner die; there are so many reasons.” However, adopting can come with its own problems. “Maybe the dog at the shelter has all sorts of personality problems and that’s why he or she is there, so you have to be very cautious when you go to the shelter to get a dog. You can get a wonderful dog, or you can get a dog with no end of training problems. [It] may not have been properly house-trained, may have a vicious streak in him, may tend to run away; there are so many things that can go wrong with a shelter dog, but of course, I’ve had many clients who have gotten the most wonderful dogs in the world from shelters. But you have to proceed with great caution.” 

Dogs are loved across America and other countries, often portrayed as loyal, loving, and brave animals, especially because they can perform a variety of jobs, such as tracking animals for hunters, finding enemies for the military and police, helping firefighters save people in danger, protecting their owners from threats, and even just being a loving companion. They have become trusted creatures in places around the world.