Before Choosing A Family Dog:
Are You Up To The Commitment?
So, you want a puppy?
Before choosing a family dog, ask yourself if you are doing so for the right reasons. Do not choose a dog because of physical appearance or because it was seen in a movie or television show. Before choosing a family dog, understand that you are not choosing a dog to be a fun toy or entertaining gift. Next to raising a puppy, the only thing more time consuming is raising a child. The difference is the intense puppy stage only lasts about a year. Few things are more rewarding than choosing your puppy, raising it, and doing a good job with it. Before choosing a family dog, be aware you must accept a commitment that will last the lifetime of the dog. In return, it will offer you an abundant level of devotion.
Choosing to get a dog or puppy can bring a family together unlike any other family involvement.
Dogs are physical playmates, sources of comfort and companions. Experiencing dogs in the family can teach children responsibility, as well as the happier and sadder aspects of life. Before choosing a family dog, determine if you are up to the tasks required (grooming, exercise, meals, housetraining) as well as the financial investment.
Make sure you will be able to keep your dog should you undergo a
change of living space, get married or have children.
What is your daily life like? Before you choose a dog for the family, determine if you can integrate the dog and its schedule into your life? You must be willing to commit time and effort over the long haul, hopefully 12-15 years or more.
Your choice should be clear as to the priority.
When you are away from home, you must see to proper arrangements in your absence, or be ready and willing to take the dog with you. Before you choose a dog, know if this will be a problem. Children may claim they will be responsible for the new family member, but an adult must take ultimate responsibility. Before you choose to bring a dog or puppy into your life, know you must be willing to sacrifice things you might want to do if at the time they conflict with the needs of your dog.
Before choosing a family dog, are you up to the financial commitment?
The puppy’s purchase is the beginning. Your budgeting should include periodic or yearly veterinary care including but not limited to: vaccines (distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus, leptospirosis, kennel cough), yearly booster shots for adult dogs, heartworm testing and prevention, spaying/neutering, annual check ups, blood tests and dental care. Teeth should be professionally cleaned every year or as needed. Good, healthy teeth will go a long way in eliminating a host environment for disease and will aid in the longevity of your dog.
Good guardianship of your dog will require high-quality premium food, an area for exercise, obedience training at 3-6 months, toys, collars/leashes, a crate, and brushes. If you take frequent trips, boarding, or the preferable home visitation, costs must be factored in. Money is very much involved in properly taking care of a dog.
Determine what sort of dog will fit into your lifestyle.
Finally, before choosing a family dog,don’t concentrate on what kind of puppy since that stage only lasts about a year. What is your personality like (e.g. relaxed, controlling) and what personality traits make you feel uncomfortable?
The good news is when you choose a family dog, it is all worth it: worth the money, effort and time if you are able and willing to give it.
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