Dogs are joyful animals that bring companionship and fun into any household, but we must take care of their needs. These include food, shelter, and veterinary care, but also affection and physical and mental stimulation. Before getting a dog, be aware that costs—food, vaccinations and other veterinary expenses, insurance, kennels when you go on vacation—will add up. Consider your lifestyle, too: do you have the time and space to give a dog a stress-free environment for its entire lifetime? Can you cope with a dog and young children? Are you ready to pick up after your dog in public places?
CHOOSING A PUPPY
Everyone loves a puppy! But unless that little ball of fluff with a squeaky bark is a Chihuahua or other small breed, it won’t stay that size for long. Seeing your puppy’s parents will indicate how big it will grow, especially with a purebred dog; if it’s a mixed breed, be prepared for anything. Puppies are especially good for very young children, since they can grow up together, forming a lifelong bond.