"Should I adopt a puppy?" Things to Consider.

In the many years that I have been raising puppies, I have interviewed countless people before placing a puppy into their homes. I would say that a big majority of the people who call me, have had a dog previous to contacting me. Those people are already pretty aware of what life with a puppy is all about. But, there are several people who contact me that are either a first time puppy owner, or maybe it has been many years since they have had one. This article is being written with them in mind.
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Things to consider before adopting a puppy:
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1.)  Expense: A person who is considering adopting a puppy needs to make sure that their budget allows for the added expense of a puppy. The initial cost is the purchase price of the puppy, but there are other expenses too. The puppy will need to be seen by a vet for their check-ups and vaccinations. There will be food costs, and the cost of supplies, such as brushes, feed bowls, crates, collars, leashes, etc. In the unfortunate event of accident or illness, there will also be other vet bills and costs of medicines. The puppy will need to be spayed or neutered, so that needs to be factored in as well. 
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2.) Commitment:  Depending on the breed of dog, the dog's life expectancy is typically 10 - 15 yrs. Are you ready to make that kind of commitment to take care of a dog and have it be a member of your family long term? 
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3.) Time: Do you have the time, or willing to spend the time it takes, to care for a puppy/dog? It will need to be socialized and trained, and will need plenty of human interaction in order to be happy and thrive. For example, getting a puppy right before or after a baby is born into the family, can be pretty exhausting.
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4.) Lifestyle: Is your lifestyle such that a dog will fit into it? Are you home a reasonable amount of time? or able to take your dog/puppy with you? If you do have to be gone for extended amounts of time, do you have someone who can let the puppy out during the day, and/or pet sit? 
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5:) Housing: Do you own your own home? or rent? If you rent, will your landlord allow dogs? If they do allow dogs, do they charge more for rent if you have a dog. That would be another thing to look into and factor into your budget.
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6:) Yard: Do you have a yard? Is the yard fenced in? If you do have a yard and it is fenced in, it makes life with a puppy/dog much more convenient. If you don't have a fenced in yard, are you willing to take the dog/puppy for walks, year round to let it go potty and get some exercise?
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7:) Family: Another important thing to consider before adopting a dog, is whether everyone in the household is on board with the decision. You don't want to get a puppy, if your spouse or significant other isn't in agreement with the decision. That could turn out to be a very stressful situation for everyone involved, including the puppy/dog.
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Adopting a puppy is real similar to bringing a new baby home. There is extra expenses and extra work involved. They need love, attention, and supervision. If you go through this list, and feel that you are ready to add a puppy as a new member of your family, you will be ready for the next step. Your next step will be finding the right breed to match your expectations of what you are wanting in a dog. Matching the right breed with your lifestyle and preferences, will have a tremendous impact on ensuring that both you and the puppy/dog have a happy long term future together. I will write about that in my next blog post.
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Kim Eastabrooks