A Dog for the Family choosing a dog, dog breed, dog breeders, adopt a dog, small dog breed, large dog breed, dog type, dog pet choosing a dog, dog breed, dog breeders, adopt a dog, small dog breed, large dog breed, dog type, dog pet
 
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choosing a dog, dog breed, dog breeders, adopt a dog, small dog breed, large dog breed, dog type, dog pet

   
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The Perfect Pet
Of Mutts and Men
The Terrible Ten
When Less is More
Glossary of Dog Terms
Types of Breeders
Dog Personality
Dog Behavior
Little Shop of Horrors
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Breeding Your Dog
The Top Ten
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The Perfect Pet for you
A pet can add excitement and entertainment to your life.  Studies have shown that pet ownership may also be good for your health. Most health authorities agree that a pet provides benefits to humans of all ages, including love and compassion.

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Kids can learn important lessons by having a pet, for example:

  • Self-esteem. The sense of accomplishment that comes from taking care of a pet builds self-image.
        
  • Compassion. Experts at Purina say kids learn to understand how people feel by caring for a pet.
       
  • Language and verbal skills. Children learn to express themselves and communicate when talking to a pet.
       
  • Responsibility. Caring for a pet teaches them how to take on risks and follow through with tasks.
        
  • Life events. The death of a family pet helps kids understand and cope with basic issues of life.

While pets can provide a vast range of learning experiences, make sure you are willing to make a lifetime commitment to your new pet. Finding a pet that fits into your lifestyle is essential.

There are families who are so busy and on the run so much, they probably shouldn't own any breed of dog. 

"Don't Buy A Dog" is a good read for anyone considering adding a dog for the first time to their family. 

For busy families who spend little time at home, cats are a good choice as they are independent enough to survive and thrive without human companionship.  All a hamster needs is moderate temperatures and food/water. You might also want to consider adding an aquarium to your family until your life settles down.  The last thing you want to teach your child is that an animal is expendable.    

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Pet ownership, especially dog ownership, is anything but inexpensive.  Usually "free" pets prove to be very expensive.  In addition to considering how much time you can devote to your family's pet, also consider what the health and maintenance expenses will be.  

Deciding not to get a dog as a pet at this time can also be a wonderful learning experience for your child.  Share with your child the reasons that make adding a dog to your family at this time a bad idea.  You'll be teaching your child valuable life lessons such as 

  • thinking of others (what's best for the potential puppy)
  • the value of waiting for the right time
  • that some decisions are too important to be rushed.

The old adage that if it's a good idea today, it will still be a good idea tomorrow is never more true than adding a pet to your family. This is not a decision to be made in the middle of a store in the mall, staring down into a set of soulful puppy eyes.  Take a deep breath, go home and RESEARCH your decision.  You'll be glad you did.