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What to Know Before Adopting a Dog for Your Family

Adopting a dog is an exciting journey that will bring years of joy, love, and companionship to your family. Dog ownership is fun, but it is also a lifelong commitment to your pup that takes more than a little love. You must understand your dog has needs such as food, medical care, and attention. Getting a dog is a big decision and can be one of the most rewarding decisions you will ever make, but there are a few things you should know before you adopt.

Choose the Right Breed

You should put careful thought into choosing the right puppy breed for your family. You need to consider your lifestyle and what type of breed would work best for your family’s schedule. Do you have time to give special care and training if needed, or do you need a pet that is quick to catch on? Another important factor is the size of the breed that you can house. You need to have enough living space for all members of your family, inside and outside of the home. Also, keep in mind that some dogs are known to have a better temperament than others, and this needs to be a factor when kids or other pets are involved. Once your family has determined the right breed for your home, it is time to begin your search.

Prepare for the Responsibility

Adopting a puppy is a big decision, so you should prepare your home and family before bringing the dog home with you. Have a family meeting and discuss what dog ownership looks like and allow all family members to have input on what their pet responsibilities will be when adopting a puppy. Having puppies is a big decision that will take every family member working as a team to feed, water, potty, and train them so that everyone is happy, including the new pup.

The Cost

The cost of pet ownership can vary depending on the type of dog you have and the needs of each dog. Typically, a healthy dog can stay healthy with the right food, exercise, and health care. If your dog has any special needs or allergies, providing care could cost a little extra. Many times, special care is unknown until after you bring the dog home. It is important to be able to cover the cost of any treatment, routine shots, and grooming that your pet may need.

Socialization and Training

Make a plan for your new pet to become accustomed to their new environment a little at a time. Do not assume your dog will know what you expect. Plan experiences with other animals, people, and areas that will be part of your pet’s new life. Take time to teach your dog your expectations slowly so that they know how you will react and how you expect them to react. This experience will build a healthier, happier relationship.

Healthcare Is Critical

It is imperative to give your dog the proper healthcare. Young dogs must receive vaccinations for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies. Older dogs will need to get boosters to assist their immune system in preventing these diseases. Dogs must also get yearly checkups and other medical care as needed. Regular health care will keep your dog happy and pain-free and keep your wallet from a hefty emergency medical bill.

Prepare for Hair

All dogs shed. If you are looking for a dog that will not leave hair everywhere, you are looking for a dog without fur. Make sure you know there will be hair on your clothes, on your furniture, and you. Grooming your dog often will help with shedding, but there is no guarantee to a hair-free home when you have pets. So, be aware that there will be hair, and you may need a new vacuum to cope.

There is no friendship better than the one that you will have with a dog that loves you. Dogs will be happy to see you when you get home and will be the best walking buddy and cuddle buddy. They will give you a listening ear when you need it. Do your research before you adopt a dog, make sure you are ready, and choose a dog that will fit the lifestyle of your family. Dogs make great family members, and you can be a great owner, too.

Is your family struggling with the loss of a beloved pet? Click here for advice on how to cope.

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