How to Prepare for the Responsibility of Dog Ownership

Developing a close, lifelong bond with your dog does not come about by chance. Dog ownership is a rewarding experience, provided you prepare in advance for the responsibility ahead of you and choose the right dog for you.

Is Everyone in the Family on Board?

A new dog is not just “Dad’s dog” or “Sarah’s dog”, but the whole family’s responsibility. That means every capable member in the family should be willing to feed, groom and play with the dog, as well as take care of his need for regular exercise. If some family members are reluctant to care for the dog’s basic needs, you should reconsider your decision and instead take on a cat or smaller animal that will not require as much work and personal attention as a dog.

Check for Allergies in the Family

The last thing you will want to deal with early on after the adoption is to start looking for a new home for Rover, as a family member is allergic to the dog. Each year, many dogs are given up because a family member was found to be allergic to dogs. This can be distressing for family members and also for the dog, as the owner/pet bond can develop very quickly. Before you bring a new dog home, make sure that no one is allergic to dogs.

Does the Dog Get Along with Children?

Responsible dog owners with children will not just consider their own personal dog preferences. They will also consider their children’s best interests. Parents must ensure they adopt a friendly breed of dog that will not be a danger to their children. Some playful, friendly breeds of dog include Yorkshire Terriers and Golden Retrievers.

Covering Financial Expenses

Dog ownership carries with it a certain financial burden. Not only will you need to cover basic expenses for food, toys and leashes, you will also need to provide routine veterinary care for dogs to keep them in top form. Do not forget to factor in the cost of dog-proofing your home, replacing destroyed household items and the expense of a pet sitter whenever you travel. If you are able to comfortably meet these expenses, you can then proceed in your search for a dog.

Dog ownership should be a lifelong responsibility, which is why it is so important to choose a dog wisely. Before you adopt a dog, make sure everyone in the family is on board, there are no allergies to dogs in the family, the dog is not a danger to your children, the dog gets along with children and that you can comfortably cover the added financial expenses of dog ownership.

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