На информационном ресурсе применяются рекомендательные технологии (информационные технологии предоставления информации на основе сбора, систематизации и анализа сведений, относящихся к предпочтениям пользователей сети "Интернет", находящихся на территории Российской Федерации)

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A Big Commitment

 

What are you doing for the next 10 or 15 years?

This may seem like a silly question, but it's the first thing you should ask yourself when you're considering bringing a puppy home.

Are you prepared?

If you're not sure that you have enough free time to dedicate to a dog — including two walks a day, playtime and cleanups — you might consider caring for a vacationing friend's pet.

Or try fostering a dog from your local humane society for a week or two to get a better feel for what dog ownership will entail.

Still not sure?

Maybe you need to mull it over more. Remember, it's easier to wait until your life can naturally accommodate a canine housemate than it is to try to make radical readjustments after adopting a dog. Check out our dog preparedness checklist on the next page to learn more.

 Image Credit: Corbis

Medical Treatments

Dogs require yearly veterinarian checkups and vaccinations, and preventative medication. A puppy will need a whole set of initial vaccinations. If you've taken in a stray older than 4 months, he'll need an all-in-one shot, plus the rabies vaccine.

 

Food and Supplies

  • Dog food
  • Toys
  • Crate
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • License

All these can cost upward of $500 per year, depending on the breed. A puppy's first-year expenses can run to roughly $900, including food, toys, neutering, vaccination and other items. Factor these figures into your annual budget if you're going to take the responsibility of pet ownership seriously.

 

Affection

While all pet dogs need lots of affection, the active attention your dog requires will depend as much on his breed as on his personality. While all breeds exhibit particular exercise and behavioral characteristics, you can never be completely certain what your dog will do next. Make sure he is well-trained, secure and well cared-for. Play with your dog often and give him plenty of chew toys.

 

Living Situation

Single apartment dwellers should think twice before acquiring an energetic dog, and never get a dog for your child unless you want one yourself. Children can help, but parents should be prepared to take on all dog-care duties, since youngsters don't always keep the promises they make when they first set eyes on a litter of cuddly pups.

 

Environment

Simply bagging and disposing of dog waste is no longer enough. Check out the environmentally friendly composting units made for this problem, or use a commercially available mix of water and enzyme powder, which will break down your dog's stools.

 

Interaction With Other Animals

Keep your dog on a leash when stray or strange animals are around, and when he will be in contact with other species. No dog should be let loose on a wildlife preserve.

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