Think about This before You Buy a Dog.......

Whether you're thinking about buying a puppy or an adult dog of any breed, there are lots of things to think about beforehand. Please consider the following:

Dogs are playful.

Dogs need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy. You'll need to set aside playtime and time for training. Obedience training is a must for your dog to become a welcome member of the community!

Dogs need protection.

A fenced yard is important for your dog's safety. Your certainly don't want your dog to run away or get lost. It's a good idea to get an identification tag or have your dog permanently identified with a tattoo or microchip just in case he manages to get loose despite your efforts. And, of course, when he leaves the yard he'll need a leash.

Dogs grow.

Puppies don't stay little for long! You'll need to pick a breed that suits your environment. Larger energetic breeds need lots of space and may not be suited to apartment or city dwellings. A toy breed might be better if your space is limited.

Dogs may need a license.

In some communities, dogs need a license. Failure to comply with local laws may result in fines or penalties and may endanger your right to keep your dog!

Dogs influence the family budget.

In addition to the purchase price of your dog, plan for food, grooming, collars, a leash and perhaps some toys and a special bed. Add in vet care and those training lessons!

Dogs need health care.

All dogs need annual vaccination, heartworm medication, and ...just like humans...regular checkups. Sometimes, dog require flea and tick treatment or treatment for unexpected ailments or illnesses.

Dogs need companionship.

Friendship is a two-way street. Your dog deserves plenty of attention; he'll be less inclined to bark or chew your belongings if he gets your love and devotion.

Dogs need all of the above for their lifetime.

The average life span of most dogs is twelve years, but some dogs may live for over twenty years! So, your dog will depend on you for love and care for a long time. Being a responsible dog owner is an important job and requires your serious commitment.

Authored and contributed by Sandra Fikes-Kalahari Ridgebacks Edited for beagles by Darlene Stewart.