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For a lot of people, it really feels like their family isn’t fully complete without a dog. After all, dogs might be called “man’s best friend” but they’re definitely a source of joy for the whole family. Dogs can help to bring your family together, teach your kids responsibility and bring you all happiness, laughter & joy for many years. However, that doesn’t mean that owning a dog is always easy. In fact, it’s often one of the most difficult things that you can do. With that in mind, here are some questions that you need to ask when deciding whether or not to bring a dog into your family.

Can you afford it?

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind but you need to be aware that dogs can be expensive. Sure, you can save money by adopting a rescue dog (something you really should do anyway) but there are a whole lot of other expenses that you will have to deal with. Everything from toys to food to vets’ bills can end up making a much bigger dent in your bank account than you might expect. You need to be prepared for the impact that owning a pet is going to have on your finances.

Do you have the time?

Owning a dog is a huge commitment. You can’t just bring a dog home and then expect your life to continue on exactly as it was before. You need to be sure that you have the time to actually look after him or her. A lot of dogs can’t be left alone all day without some kind of stimulus and exercise. If you have the time to train and walk them yourself, that’s great but if not then you’ll need to consider something such as  a dog walking service. Otherwise, your dog is going to end up going completely stir crazy and causing a whole load of problems in your home.

Do you have the space?

Speaking of your home, you need to make sure that it’s big enough to actually accommodate another family member. You might not think that a dog would take up that much room but it’s amazing how quickly a home can start to feel cramped. Sure, getting a smaller dog can go some way to dealing with this issue but you also need to think about storing things such as their kennel and food, Where their bed is going to go? Where you’re going to keep all of the dog toys? The last thing you want is to spend your entire life tripping over things.

Don’t think that any of this is designed to discourage you from bringing a dog into your home. The truth is that far too many people adopt or buy dogs without really thinking it through and then they end up having to give them away. By asking yourself these kinds of questions you can be absolutely sure that this is the right choice for you and your family. And if you decide that it’s not the right choice right now, maybe it will be in the future.

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