A pet is an important part of any family that includes one

A pet is an important part of any family that includes one. It seems like every family has a dog, and that bringing an animal into the home is an important part of being a unified family. But getting a dog — or any animal — is a major responsibility that should involve a lot of thought. How does a family know that they’re ready for a dog? What kind of plans need to be in place before the dog comes anywhere near your home? When proper planning isn’t instituted there is a much higher chance of the helpless animal ending up in a shelter, which is something no one wants.

Caring for a dog is a joy, but also an enormous obligation that affects every aspect of life. Before bringing a dog into your home, you need to make sure that you can provide the level of attention that the animal needs. When you own a dog you need to be available to the animal every day. If you are a person that works long hours you should consider a pet that requires less time and attention … maybe a fish? If you travel a lot, especially if little time is taken to plan the trips, a dog would be the wrong pet. These animals need time and affection daily. As the pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you can provide an atmosphere appropriate for the health and happiness of your animals.

Another important consideration is the condition the dog is in when you receive him. If you’ve come to the conclusion that you can care for the animal in question, you need to decide which venue to use when acquiring the animal. There are many dogs in shelters and pounds. Does your lifestyle allow you to rescue one of these animals? Although adopting an abused pet is very noble, it is not a process that is possible for every household. If your children are older (perhaps teens) you will be able to adopt. But if your children are small it would be safer for everyone involved to get a puppy. An abused animal is a volatile creature with the ability to lash out in response to triggers that you may not know. A young child is more likely to trigger the fight or flight response in the animal and less likely to be able to respond appropriately.

Whether you bring a puppy or an adult dog into your home, chances are that you will be training the dog at least a little. Each home has unique standards, and you will be teaching these standards to the dog when he initially enters your home. This process takes varying amounts of time depending on the animal’s temperament and the human’s ability to be consistent. If you bring an animal into your home, it is your responsibility to train him. If you are not up for the challenge, and cannot bring the animal to a training program, you should not take on the responsibility of a dog. It’s something seen too often: after a while the owners get fed up with the dog using the floor as a toilet and give it up for adoption. This is not fair to the animal, which will most likely be euthanized in a shelter.

Although having a dog as part of your family would be wonderful, please make sure that you put proper thought into the decision. Make sure that you will be present enough, make sure that you choose the right animal for your family, and make sure that you are ready to handle the responsibility of training your new dog. Remember that these are only some of the considerations to make when you want an animal for your family. If you don’t own your own home, you will need to speak with your landlord to make sure that the animal you choose is acceptable. Between food and vet bills, and possibly a dog deposit to your landlord, an animal is also a financial obligation. I have given you a few things to think about when looking to bring a dog into your home. Please consider all these points, and the many more ways that a dog will affect your life. Along with the games of fetch you will be adding responsibilities to your life. Only you can know if you are ready.

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