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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Welcoming a new puppy to your family can be the beginning of a very special bond. Not only will your pet offer unwavering friendship, but your new family member will also provide an extra sense of security. Although there are plenty of advantages to having a family dog, taking ownership of a new pet is not always as easy as it may sound. Here are four things to consider before you get a family dog.

Time Commitment
Although you do not have to be around your dog for twenty-four hours a day, it still needs a certain amount of attention. Like people, a dog needs to exercise on a regular basis. While feeding a mature dog once a day is perfectly okay, puppies that are younger than 12 months old will need to be fed at least twice a day. It is not uncommon for a lonely dog to become destructive when nobody is home.

If you are a parent who has young children at home, you need to be very selective in choosing a dog. Due to the fragile nature of a toy-sized dog, an aggressive child can accidentally injure it. Never make the mistake of giving young children the responsibility of caring for the pet. In most instances, children who have not yet reached the first grade tend to be irresponsible. You should be very leery about adopting a dog that has a reputation for being ill-tempered.

Budgeting for Pet Care
In order for a dog to remain healthy and full of life, the animal must receive the proper care. Unfortunately, raising a puppy is not cheap. Contrary to popular belief, dogs should not be fed table scraps on even an occasional basis, and as a responsible pet owner you must add the cost of the healthiest, best pet food to your household’s monthly budget. You will also need to take into consideration the cost of spaying or neutering, immunizations, and occasional veterinary visits for your dog.

Every family dog needs to be properly trained. A disobedient dog can cause a lot of problems in the long run. If you do not have the patience to housebreak your dog, you will need to hire a professional dog trainer. Due to the fact that an untrained dog can suddenly lash out at strangers, you may be forced to pay for the injured person’s medical treatment.

There is no denying the fact that a dog can bring joy to a household. However, be sure to consider all of the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who are considering adding a dog to the family.