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What is it about those fuzzy little fur-ball friends of ours? Puppies fill us with delight and make our troubles just melt away—the way they clumsily learn to walk, how they discover their tail . . . and attempt to chase it, how tuckered out they become after trotting about filled with complete and utter happiness. Yes, it can’t be denied, even naughty puppies have a way of making us fight back a smile. Their honest little expressions and open giving of affection will get you every time. For a dog lover, it doesn’t matter the age or type, all dogs make your heart skip a beat. Going to the shelter is risky business, because you would take them all home with you . . . if you could.

When you are considering bringing a new dog into your family, you have a lot to think about. As a responsible dog owner, you understand that raising a dog is work. You want to be certain that you and your family are up for the task, and that you choose to adopt a dog that will be with you for years to come. Considerations When Choosing to Adopt Puppies are adorable, but they need responsible owners to bring them in to a situation where they will be properly cared for. It’s more than just giving them enough food and water. Here are some very important things to think about before choosing to adopt a puppy: The Demands on Your Time Puppies take an immense amount of time and attention. If you work all day, live alone, or are stretched thin on time or money, you shouldn’t get a puppy. Puppies need to be let out frequently. They have a lot of energy, which means you will spend a lot of time walking and playing with them. Much like having a baby, puppies demand your time. They are new to this world and you are all they know. They will come to you when they are excited, scared, happy, lonely, tired, hungry, and thirsty. Arm yourself with patience, because until they are house-trained, they might tear the place apart. It’s also important that you consider the expense of a puppy. The Cost It costs money to adopt any dog, but many adult dogs are trained, have their vaccinations, and have been spayed and neutered. Typically, rescue dogs or dogs adopted from a shelter are already vaccinated, and sometimes spayed and neutered. They also cost less than choosing to buy a dog from a pet store, or a dog breeder. There are the up-front expenses of getting a dog bed, dog house, dishes, leash, collar, tags, tracking chip, chew toys, and grooming products like brushes. But you also need to think about the ongoing expenses like monthly food, trips to the veterinarian, dog grooming, pet sitters, emergency savings, and the cost of any wear and tear on your house or yard—or shoes. Another consideration is the expense to train your dog. It is becoming increasingly popular to take dogs to training schools. These schools are a good way for them to learn how to obey their ‘pack leader’ (you) and learn how to socialize with other dogs. Your Family Dynamic Do you have children? If so, how old are they? If you have a newborn, this is going to be a difficult time to raise a dog. If you do choose to get a dog with a new baby, be very careful in your decision. You will need to consider the dog’s temperament. An older dog might have an easier time around children, and you might be able to get a sense for how the dog will interact with your baby before adopting it. A puppy may not understand that it cannot nip at a child. Raising a baby and a puppy at the same time demands a lot of juggling for the owner. Be sure you are equipped to handle both. It’s also hard for small children to understand how to treat dogs. They may hit them, or try to ride on them and unintentionally hurt the dog. Older children are able to help care for dogs and they better understand how to treat them by properly giving commands. This is usually a better time when people find a dog to be a great addition to the family. If you live alone, a dog can be great for you. Just be sure that you are willing to give your dog enough space during the day or that your dog has somewhere to go so they don’t feel cooped up, lonely, and depressed. Give your dog time and attention, take them outside frequently to play, walk, hike, swim, and socialize them with other dogs. The hardest part about having a dog when you are single is making sure that your dog is not neglected. Once you have decided that you are ready, willing, and able to get a puppy, the last thing to consider is how excited you are to cuddle. For more tips in caring for your pup, be sure to check out our blog!

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