1. How do other members of your household feel about adopting a dog?
Owning a dog is a big, long-term responsibility for every member of the family. Bostons typically reach at least 13 -15 years of age and have been known to live as long as 16, or even 18 – 20 years. Like most dogs, a Boston is completely dependent on its owners for regular meals, fresh water, proper veterinary care, and a loving environment. You may be very willing to take on these duties, but if other members of your household don’t feel that they are willing or able to help you provide a good, loving home for your Boston, it would be best not to take home that cute puppy.
2. Is your household equipped to deal with an indoor dog?
While Bostons enjoy being outdoors with their owners, their short sleek coats won’t protect them from cold, wet weather. In hot temperatures, the short muzzle of the Boston can make it more likely that the dog will experience heat distress. You must keep a Boston Terrier indoors, and make sure that they have adequate protection and clothing for outdoors trips. You must have a fully fenced in yard with absolutely no possibility of digging under the fence, breakage in the fence, etc. You cannot leave your Boston Terrier in your yard unattended. You cannot have any types of plants, such as roses, that have thorns or other kinds of growth that can cause puncture wounds. This is true for any dog, however it is particularly true for Boston Terriers because of the combination of their height and the short muzzle and large eyes, which makes them more susceptible to accidental eye injuries. Of course you cannot have any type of poisonous plants in your yard regardless of breed. You should not have a Boston Terrier if you have any potential problem neighboring dogs or animals. You should not have a Boston Terrier if you have any potential problem visitor dogs or animals, such as those of family or friends who may visit.
3. How much time do you have in your daily schedule for a dog?
Boston Terriers have been bread for human companionship, and their affectionate nature requires you to spend some “lap time” as well as play time each and every day. A Boston will not be happy as a “weekend dog”. While the Boston can get by with less grooming than a long haired breed, and do not require exceptionally large amounts of exercise, they do have daily needs must be attended to. In addition, Boston Terriers are very social and need quite a bit of attention and quality time.
4. Do you have children in your household?
Children do need to be taught how to treat any dog. If you aren’t willing to take the time to teach your children never to tease, hit, pull on or poke (a real hazard is the Boston’s protruding eyeballs) or throw things at a dog, then please do not get ANY dog. You should not have a Boston Terrier if you have any potential problem visitor children or adults, such as family or friends who may visit.
5. Would a puppy or an older dog be better for you?
Many people are willing to take on the responsibility of dog ownership but would rather not go through the early mornings and accidents of housebreaking a puppy. Of course it is wonderful to watch a puppy grow into an adult, but its also a lot of work. if you decide on a puppy, be prepared to feed extra meals, clean up accidents, and enroll in a local obedience class, and spend a significant amount of time to raise your Boston Terrier.
6. Does dog ownership fit your budget?
The purchase price of your dog or puppy isn’t the only cost you have to consider. Be aware that the Boston Terrier you bring home will need proper care: food, health care (a dog needs at least annual vaccinations and an annual checkup), and when old enough your Boston should be spayed or neutered. Your puppy will also need supplies such as collars, identifications, bowls, leashes, toys, and an annual dog license which you purchase from your city or county. A puppy has additional expenses during the first year of life because a series of initial more frequent vaccinations and checkups are required. In addition, it is highly recommended that any dog has proper daily preventative dental care and routine checkups. Depending on the area you live in, most dogs also require heartworm preventative given monthly for some or all of the year, as well as periodic heartworm tests. Occasionally any dog will require extra medical attention for things due to accidents or illnesses such as bee stings, colds, etc. Ask yourself if you are sure you really can afford a dog.
7. Take two – they’re small?
Bostons are generally very sweet natured and can get along well with other dogs and some other pets. However you should never assume that any two types of pets or even any two of the same pet will get along. Making a mistake in this assumption can cause serious injury or even death to one of more of your pets.
8. Some general health care and lifestyle considerations.
We’ve already mentioned that Boston Terriers must be kept indoors. This must be stressed again. Even in a relatively mild climate, they must be kept indoors. In practically all areas of the US, the climate is extreme, but even here Bostons require a warm coat, a rain coat and a light weight jacket to be kept comfortable and healthy. In the summer, they must be watched for overheating, in hot weather they really are better off in air-conditioning. Outdoors in the summer, they can be sprayed with water all over, especially on the underside so that they will cool as the water evaporates. The dark parts of their coats make them heat up surprisingly quickly in the sun. Like all brachiocephalic dogs (short muzzled), including pugs and bulldogs, they can easily distress in the heat. Of course Bostons like all dogs should never be left in a warm car. You should always bring some shade with you when you know you will be going out together to a sunny place.
Another important consideration is eye protection. Because Boston Terriers have large and beautiful but somewhat protruding eyes, protecting them is extremely important. Sun exposure for long periods of time must be avoided. You can purchase small sized dog visors that will help keep the sun out of their eyes. They should never be allowed to stick their heads out of automobile windows because the air pressure on the eyes is bad (true for any dog). You should not hike with your Boston in excessively dusty conditions. Its a good idea to carry a dog eyewash eye drops with you so that if dust, sand or plant matter does get in their eyes, you can wash it out before they rub their eyes, risking scratches. If you have landscaping that contains thorny plants such as roses or cactus, you will need to arrange some way of insuring that your Boston cannot get into the area with these plants. Because their eyes protrude and their muzzles are short, there is an increased chance over other dogs that they will scratch their eyes by accident. When walking with your Boston never allow them to come into contact with thorny plants.
In general, Boston’s are a comparatively healthy and sturdy breed. With a few precautions and common sense, your Boston will be a relatively care-free and loving companion for years to come. But please – be sure that you can really afford all of the fairly high costs and demands on you and your family before you consider adopting or purchasing a Boston Terrier.
Looking for a Boston Terrier Dog or Puppy? Why Not Adopt!