Owning a car is a great responsibility. Though a car isn’t a live pet, both a dog and a car have needs that need to be met in order for them to stay in top shape. We’re not saying that you should start taking your car to a parking lot to mingle with other cars, or make sure that he had sufficient petting and affection that day, but there are certain parallels which one could draw from this analogy.
- Going to the Vet vs. Going to the Mechanic
Though you would obviously take your dog to the vet if there was something wrong with it, most frequently the reason for the visit is a checkup and to update vaccines. Too often, we think that cars only need to see their “doctors” if they are broken and need to be fixed. The truth is that they need regular maintenance to keep them from falling into disrepair and a regular tune up and evaluation is a good place to start. Just like the only way to know whether you have an STI is to have a screening test done, the only safe way of finding out that there’s something off with the inner workings of your car is by taking it to the mechanic’s. He or she will give it a checkup, top up the fluids, see if the brakes are wearing out, evaluate the condition of certain important components, and give recommendations from there. It’s much better, and more pleasant, to find out that your car’s battery can’t hold a charge at the garage, rather than on the side of the road, far from home and cell phone reception.
- Grooming your Dog vs. Caring for the Exterior
Regular grooming ensures your dog’s fur is in prime shape by redistributing natural oils, removing dirt and dust, as well as promoting circulation. You might not give it a lot of thought, but the exterior of your car also needs some TLC every once in a while. Regularly washing and buffing it keeps dust and dirt from coating your car and potentially leaving microscratches. If you see paint flaking, it’s time for a paint job. It won’t just improve the appearance of your car, it will protect it from rust. Invest in the coating of the body and underbody of your vehicle, and it will be years before you see rust, even if you live in a climate in which rain, snow, and salt are an issue.
- Choosing a Good Diet for Your Dog vs. Good Fuel for Your Car
Why are there so many different types of dog food? It’s because the quality and content of these foods vary from bag to bag. Depending on your dog’s particular needs, the vet might suggest a certain brand or blend over another because it promotes healthy skin and fur, controls weight, or delivers minerals or nutrients the pooch is lacking. Cars also have different needs and therefore need to be “fed” according to them. If you have a turbo engine, you’ll be actually ruining it by pumping low quality fuel into it, while if you are driving a beater, there’s really nothing that the “platinum” octane blend will give you. Do some research about the kind of fuel you should be putting into your car for a high-quality ride and longevity.
- The Dog House vs. the Garage
Regardless of whether your dog spends most of its time outdoors or inside your house, it has a place to call its own. It might be a little dog house or a big pillow in the corner of your bedroom, but Max can feel safe and secure in it. Your car has similar needs. If you are looking to have a highly-functioning car, you are going to need to provide a proper home or shelter for it. It might be a garage space, car park, or even a spot on the driveway, but it needs designation. Parking on the street puts your car at a higher risk of being hit by other vehicles, being towed, or even being splashed by the street cleaning vehicle.
- Go Out for Walks vs. Taking the Car for a Spin
No one really condones going out for a daily pleasure car ride unless you catch a commercial from the 1950’s. However, if you don’t use your car regularly or have it in storage, it’s important to make sure that you start it and take it for a spin before you plan on using it again. Otherwise, your car battery could run out, your tires could get flat without you noticing, and rust could spread. If you aren’t around, ask a friend or family member to give your car a joy ride every once in a while, just like you would ask them to walk the dog. Different reasons, but the same concept.
As you see, having a car and a dog is quite different, even though there are many parallels we can draw between them. However, one thing is for sure. If you want your car to outlive your Yorkie, you’re going to have to start treating it better, starting by changing your perspective on what it means to have and commit to a car.