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Is Your Family Ready to Welcome a Dog?

Thinking of adopting a dog for your family?

If so, we think that’s great…but before you rush to your local dog shelter, rescue group, or adoption site, consider whether your family is fully prepared to accept the lifelong responsibility of dog guardianship.

And then take some time to consider what type of dog best suits the lifestyle of the family or person who will be the dog’s guardian.

Puppies, for example, require a lot of attention when it comes to grooming, feeding, house training, socialization and exercise.

If your family is busy or you are taking care of small children at the same time, you may want to consider adopting an older dog who may already be house trained and may not need the same level of care as a puppy.

Looking for a dog to be a companion for your mom or dad or another senior? Then please consider an old dog. Senior dogs can be wonderful companions for the elderly. They can be very mellow and sweet and the fact that they are in their prime in terms of life expectancy may be better suited to an older person who may not be able to care for a puppy now and for 15 or more years of life.

Do you know a special child or adult who may have a physical or other challenge? Some of the most wonderful experiences on record are those witnessing the interaction of disabled dogs with children and adults who face challenges. Seemingly, a special bond materializes between human and dog as they draw on each other’s strengths and journey through the joys of living and supporting each other.

What about the cost of caring for a dog?

Bringing a new dog into your family or home is bringing home a new family member. If you have any qualms about this idea, then don’t get a dog, buy a toy. Dogs need love and nutritious food, a warm and comfortable place to sleep in your home (not your garage or yard), toys, vitamins, vet checks, dental care and grooming. If you live in a cold climate, many dogs need coats when they go outside during inclement weather. This is just a start.

We have 2 small dogs and spend about $300. month for food, supplements and veterinary health insurance. If we needed more we would gladly spend it even if we had to sacrifice elsewhere.

Will you give your time to Fido?

Puppies to senior dogs all need your time and attention to varying degrees. Puppies need the most time, but even an older dog needs exercise, playtime and attention. If you think a bowl of food and water is all your dog needs to be happy, put yourself at his feet. Would you like to be fed some food and then ignored?

I’ve seen too many families adopt a dog, leave the dog in the yard or garage all day with no exercise or attention, and then wonder why behavior problems develop

Unfortunately, I have seen dogs left alone only to drown in a backyard fountain. Large dogs that tear up the cushions in a garage may be returned to the pound as irredeemable (often the first to be euthanized) and others left chained behind for good, as the owners call it. None of these people should own a dog.

If you’re considering getting a new dog, you’ll know you’re ready when you’re not just excited but committed to the well-being of your new family member.

When you are concerned about the quality of food he eats, the veterinary care he receives, the training, grooming, exercise and time spent together that only you and your family can provide, you are ready for a dog.

My wife and I took our dogs on our honeymoon to California wine country. Why; Because they are part of our family. No one else would make sure his medication and care is handled as well as we do. And most importantly, we wanted them with us. We stayed at a great property and found fantastic dog friendly restaurants and activities everywhere.

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