So, you’re thinking about a new, four-legged addition to your family? First off, congratulations for even considering this option! Dogs bring lots of unconditional love and joy to their humans, and caring for a pup can be a deeply rewarding endeavor. But before we can start thinking about all of the puppy snuggles and long walks together, it is important to consider the bigger picture when it comes to adopting a new pet. Below, you’ll find some topics and suggestions to consider before you adopt!

 

  • Do you have the time? Pups require a lot of time. Regular exercise, feeding, grooming, basic wellness care, annual check ups, and of course, lots of love are all part of owning a dog. Be sure to take stock of your schedule and know that you can make time for all that love and care!
  • Annual Costs. According to the ASPCA, there are a range of generalized, yearly costs that you can expect based on the size of your pup. Small dogs annually cost around $420, medium sized dogs $620, and large dogs $780.
  • Unexpected and Extra Costs. Emergency visits to the vet can be a reality for any pup, just like humans and the emergency room.
  • Consider your living space. The size of your living space should factor into your decision making when it comes to the possible size of your pup. Bigger breeds or more active breeds just need a little space.
  • Access to the great outdoors. All dogs require exercise to stay happy and healthy. Research local dog friendly parks and outdoor spaces near you so you have a good plan of action when it comes to your pup’s outdoor playtime.
  • Veterinarian Research. Do your homework on the veterinarians in your area, interview them when possible, and pick the one that you feel most comfortable with. Your family veterinarian will be a vital part of your dog’s life and health, so treat this search just like you would for a family physician.
  • Family Dynamics. It may seem a little obvious, but make sure your family dynamics will be suitable to the addition of a new, four-legged family member. Involving everyone in the decision-making process can go a long way to ensuring you find the pup that fits your family best.
  • Training your pup. Proper training for a new puppy requires some serious time and energy. If you might struggle to keep up with the demands of training a new dog, consider adopting an older dog. Your local animal shelter or sites like Petfinder.com are great resources you can utilize!
  • Consider adoption! Unless you have your heart set on a specific breed bred for sport or work, consider pet adoption or rescue! There are so many dogs at your local animal shelter in need of a loving family, so consider adoption before you make that trip to the puppy store.
  • Take your time. I cannot stress this enough. Take your time before making a decision. Do some research on different breeds, go to the shelter and talk to their staff, talk to your vet, and be sure that all your family members meet your potential new pup before you bring him or her home! This is a vital step to ensuring that you have the perfect fit and your new canine companion will feel right at home!

 

 

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