Is Your Family Ready for a Dog?

Are you ready to become a “dog family?” Follow this checklist to see if you’ve got what it takes:

• Reason: Friend for the kids, cuddle buddy, playmate or exercise partner are all good reasons to get a dog. "Because he’s cute" is not.

• Room: Dogs need room to play and exercise, even if it's a public park. Active dogs need lots of room. And while you can make it work, your family may feel cramped with a big dog in a tiny apartment.

• Time: Is your family ready to spend several hours a day playing, training, caring for and watching your new dog?

• Money: It doesn't need to be a lot, but you'll have to budget money every month for food, supplies and care. And the one-time "startup costs" for a new puppy can add up.

• Patience: Dogs need to learn, and they're going to make mistakes. Training takes a lot of time, repetition and praise, but it will all be worth it in the end.

• Environment: Your home will have to be equipped and prepared. That means getting supplies ahead of time, and dog-proofing your home.

• Responsibility: Puppies and dogs need regular interaction and care. Your whole family will have to take part in the dog’s care. On the other hand, a new dog is a great way to teach your children responsibility.

Once you decide that your family is ready for a dog, use our Family Dog Finder to find out which breed is best for you!

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