Some of the questions your family should first resolve include:
Who will feed and walk the dog every day?
Do you have the time and desire to train a dog?
Can you afford the cost of food, grooming and vet bills?
What happens to your dog when you go on vacation? When you go to work?
Can your home accommodate a pet?
How does the breed you've selected fit your lifestyle and home?
Are you willing to spay/neuter your dog to ensure no unplanned litters?
Are you prepared for a 10-15 year commitment to a dog?
Are You Sure You Want a Puppy?
Puppies are cute, cuddly and lots of fun, but they are also lots and lots of work! Housebreaking a puppy takes time, patience and consistency, and each dog has its own timetable for learning. If you work full-time, housebreaking a puppy might be difficult to accomplish with a puppy that needs to go outside every few hours.
Puppies need to chew, and don't know that your table legs and shoes are not chew toys until you teach them. However, even with the most watchful owner, every household will have casualties of puppyhood.
Puppies are also expensive, requiring regular trips to the veterinarian for vaccinations, worming and necessary puppy health care.
They also require training and socialization, beginning with puppy kindergarten and basic obedience training. These both take a commitment of time and money on the part of an owner to ensure a happy, well trained and well adjusted adult dog.
Are You Sure You Are Ready For a Dog?
A dog depends on its master to be its loyal protector and companion for the duration of its life, not just until it is no longer convenient. A visit to the local animal shelter or humane society will impress on anyone what happens to man's best friend when acquired in haste. Thousands of dogs in the CSRA are needlessly euthanized each year because their owners thought they were ready for a dog, but weren't. The addition of a dog to your family is a decision that should be given a great deal of consideration and thought, and should never be done on a whim or given as a surprise gift to someone.
You must carefully consider the care, training, attention, daily exercise and interaction that is required with a dog, in addition to considering the costs of feeding, grooming and veterinary care.
Like most things in life, having a dog has both good points and bad points. Training your dog to bring you your slippers at night is nice, finding your expensive dress shoes chewed to oblivion, is not.
You May Be The Perfect Dog Owner If You...
Think caring for a pet for 15 years does not seem long enough
Look forward to big, wet kisses when you come home each day
Don't mind sharing your home with one who sheds, tracks in mud, drools and smells bad on occasion
Don't mind sharing your home with one who will never clean up after themselves
Want to take care of a dog every single day
Want a playmate who likes to chase balls and drag off shoes
Don’t mind a playmate who likes to slobber on balls and shoes
Don't mind spending your extra money on pet food, toys, veterinary care, chew bones, and more chew bones
Want someone who adores you, even on a bad hair day
Agree that spaying and neutering your pet will keep them healthy and well-mannered
Cannot imagine leaving your devoted pet behind when you move
Want to keep an ID tag on your pets, so they can get back to you no matter what
Enjoy the unconditional love and constant companionship a dog provides
If this sounds like you, we encourage you to visit your local animal shelter, contact a dog rescue group, or contact the Augusta Kennel Club to find the perfect purebred dog or puppy for you!