Breeds

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Deciding if you are ready to own a dog

Dogs make excellent pets and companions. After all, their loyalty is well-known and many dogs will protect their homes with the heart and passion of a true champion. In addition, nothing beats being greeted by a happy and loving friend every time you return home from work. Still, just because there are many perks to owning a dog, it doesn't mean you are truly prepared to bring one home.

By asking yourself a few simple questions and by answering them honestly, you will be better able to determine if you are truly ready to own a dog.

Do You Truly Like Dogs?

This may seem like a silly question, but many people that want a pet dog do not really have any experience with caring for one. While they certainly look cute on television and are fun to hang around with when you visit a friend's house, this doesn't mean you truly like everything about dogs.

Dogs can definitely bring a great deal of joy into your life, but they can also bring more stress. Owning a dog is much like having a child. There will be vet appointments to make, play dates to keep, and messes to clean. While some dogs are more rambunctious and messy than others, the chances are good that you will have at least one potty mess to clean up in your house and at least one piece of furniture or item chewed by your dog. So, make certain you are ready for the responsibility of dog ownership as well as the joys.

Is Anyone in the House Allergic to Dogs?

If you have never owned a dog, you may not truly know the answer to this question. Therefore, you should have every member of the household tested before you bring home Fido only to discover that he makes everyone sick. You could go to the doctor to have an allergy test performed, but the easiest way to test for allergies is to visit a friend with a dog. Spend some time playing with the dog or hanging around by the carpeted floor if the dog is an inside pet. If you don't experience an allergic reaction, such as runny eyes, sniffles, or problems with breathing, you likely are not allergic.

Can You Have Dogs Where You Live?

If you are a renter, you need to check with your landlord before you bring home a new dog, only to be told he isn't allowed. Even if you own, you might need to check the bylaws of your community. If you own a condo, for example, pets may not be allowed in the building. Even in subdivisions, there may be some restrictions about pet ownership that make owning a dog less attractive.

Are You Financially Prepared to Care for a Dog?

Dogs are not cheap to own. In addition to having to buy food on a regular basis, there are also vet bills and the cost associated with replacing items your beloved companion destroys. If your dog is injured or becomes ill, the bills can really add up fast. So, make certain you are prepared to care for your pet before you take on the responsibility.

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