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How to Know Your Family Is Ready for a Puppy

Ready for a pup?

Grigorita Ko/Shutterstock

There are many reasons someone might want to get a puppy for their family. Games of fetch in the backyard, long walks in the country or lazy afternoons snuggled together on the couch, to name a few. Maybe you want a friend for your children or a guardian for your home.

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No matter the reason, you have to ask yourself, is your family ready for a puppy? Is someone in your family allergic to dogs? Can you afford it? Who’s going to walk the dog? Who’s going to train it? There are a lot of things to consider, according to the American Kennel Club.

The AKC estimates that the cost for the first year of dog ownership is between $1,600 and $2,000. 

Can your family accommodate the following needs for a puppy?

Dogs must be fed at least twice a day, but it may vary based on the age, size and breed of the dog. A dog will also need to be walked a couple of times a day, not only for exercise but to use the bathroom. On top of that, a puppy will have more energy and require more exercise than an older dog. 

Is your home safe for a puppy? Will you be diligent about looking out for your new friend’s needs by keeping common foods you might not know can harm your pet away, and by making sure all fencing is safe for outdoor playtime? Is the puppy you’re considering even in need of a yard and if it is, do you have one?

Housetraining might be the most important aspect and it will take time. On average, it takes about four to six months to fully housetrain a puppy, but in some cases, it may take longer and can be quite complicated without the proper tips.  

Companionship is also important because your puppy will need attention when you’re home and a secure place to stay when nobody is in the home. Do you have enough time in the day to play with your dog? 

In short, if you’re willing to put all the time, money, and devotion into caring for another living thing in your home, then you are ready to get a puppy. If not, or if you don’t think your family is able to handle it, then hold off.

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And if you are now on the hunt for the newest addition to your family, here are some hypoallergenic dog breeds to consider.