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Committing to a Puppy

Jun 17, 2008
"I want a puppy! I want a puppy!" If you have children, you've probably heard this before. But one thing that kids - and sometimes their parents - don't realize is that while a puppy may be cute and full of energy when it's young, it will grow into a full-sized dog with full-sized commitments. If you and your kids aren't ready to take on this long-term commitment, you may be in for a surprise.

It's very important to get this point across to your children. Often, kids see pets as toys - as something to play with for awhile before they move on to the next toy. However, a puppy is a big commitment, and children need to be prepared to take care of their new dog for years. This can be a great way to teach your kids responsibility, but you'll need to be ready to step in if they don't take care of their puppy. The last thing you want is for the dog to suffer because you or your children weren't ready to deal with the long-term commitment.

You also need to be prepared financially when you take on a new puppy. Puppies don't eat as much as larger dogs do, so while small bags of puppy chow might seem inexpensive, the large bags of dog food you'll need as your dog grows older won't be as cheap. You'll also need to plan to pay for vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and any other vet bills that may come up. You'll probably also need to invest in collars, identification tags, toys, bowls and doggy beds - so be ready for the extra expenses.

If you like to travel, consider whether or not a puppy is a good choice for you. You won't be able to simply go out of town on vacation without taking care of your dog. You'll need to either make arrangements for someone to come to your house to feed your puppy and let it out, or you'll need to board your dog at the vet. This can get expensive, especially if you travel frequently and are often out of town.

Likewise, you'll need to commit to training your dog - especially if it's going to be in the house. At the very least, you'll need to train your puppy to let you know when it needs to go outside to use the bathroom and how to heel and walk on a leash. Just like vaccinations, training can be costly in both money and time. Even after the training is complete, you'll need to devote time to walking your puppy and letting it out when it needs to go.

While you or your kids may want a puppy just because it's cute, you have to keep in mind that the cute little puppy will eventually become a full-grown dog that can live for fifteen years or more. This is a long-term commitment, so you have to take into account how that will change your life for years. While you certainly should enjoy the puppy years, you've got to be ready to make the commitment to your dog.
About the Author
When you have your dog and are ready to pick dog names, http://www.names-for-dogs.co.uk has an assortment of male dog names and female dog names to choose from!
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