Peanuts creator Charles Schulz wrote, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”
Dogs are considered intensely loyal, protective and faithful creatures that add value to life. So how do you know if getting a pet is right for your family?
“You might have a loving home but it doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready for dog ownership,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent umbrella insurance agency.
How do you know if you are cut out to own a dog? Read through the following information before deciding on a possible addition to your family.
Are you away from home often? Are you a jet-setter or do you log in long hours at the office? If so you would need to hire a dog walker or dog sitter, dogs need and deserve proper attention.
Does anyone have allergies? Those with severe allergies should not bring home a dog. If your allergies are moderate, you can work with an allergist to get some control of allergies and establish pet- free zones in your home.
Are you a neat freak? Dogs will shed, have accidents, knock things over and chew. Are you prepared for the additional clean up?
The children will take care of the dog. Your intention might be that your children will be the primary care takers, but kids get busy with activities and you will find yourself being involved in caring for the pet as well.
Expenses, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates, a medium size dog will cost $1,580 annually. This does not include the cost of pet purchase. This covers pet care bills such as food, the vet, toys and grooming.
Another expense to consider with dog ownership is an umbrella policy. A Security Insurance Agency provides umbrella insurance policies in the case of a dog bite or injury. You might think your dog would never bite someone, but unfortunately bites happen and an umbrella policy can protect your assets in the case of property damage or injuries.
That brings us to breeds. What breed of dog is right for your family and fits your lifestyle. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and Animal Planet have a breed selector that can match you with your ideal breed. They inquire about your living environment, noise tolerance, work day, activity level and more.
Remember, bringing home a puppy is similar to bringing home a baby. Make sure you have the proper supplies such as dog bowls, toys, a bed or crate. Find a good veterinarian for your dog. It is important to put away any toxic items that the dog can get into including food- avocados, chocolate and grapes can make your dog very ill. Make sure to care for their eyes, ears, gums, teeth and nails to keep them healthy. A properly fitted collar, leash and harness are a must. Also, have lots of love.