Is It Time for a Family Dog?

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I knew at some point while raising our boys that we just needed a dog. A boy without a dog just didn’t seem right. What I wasn’t prepared for was how much work and how expensive dogs are. I didn’t do my research. If you are thinking of getting a puppy and you have a busy home, I would encourage you to consider the following before making the commitment.

8 Things to consider if you are thinking of getting a dog:

1. Sleepless nights
It really is true that puppies are like newborn babies. The puppy smell, their soft puppy fur and all the puppy kisses are amazing. It’s the middle of the night barking to play or be let out to go potty. Its taking them outside half awake in your pajamas to do their “business” only to do it again a couple hours later….and then you step in it.

2. Training
It takes time, energy and money. They will get into trash, chew on your shoes, eat your food and pee on your rug. (Just like toddlers do)

3. Expensive
Research your dog bread before you invest. I had no idea how expensive it would be to groom our dog. Her hair is a little unruly and its EXPENSIVE and not easy for me to do myself. The shots also add up. They need puppy shots, annual shots, flea and tick, heart-worm medicine and spay or neuter. Don’t forget the time it takes to do all this.

4. Vacations
Fred cant always go with you on vacations. Who’s going to watch him? Do you want to put your precious WILD puppy on your friends or family or do you pay to have them stay at puppy day care? There’s another expense.

5. Barking
Our current dog doesn’t bark thankfully, but our last dog barked ALL THE TIME at every leaf, bug or piece of mulch. I remember when the baby was sleeping and the dog was barking. That was a fun anxiety ride. “Don’t wake the sleeping baby, Boomer!”

6. Shedding
If you don’t do your research, you may end of up with a new every day sweater…dog fur. The floors and baseboards may need to be cleaned constantly due to shedding fur. That may be ok with you, but if you are busy, its another fun adventure added to your plate.

7. Best Friend
Fast forward 4 years and our unruly shaggy girl is our 11 year olds best friend. When he has a bad day, he finds her. She sleeps with him, he’ll dress her silly outfits, they build forts and rest together. Seeing their bond makes my heart smile. We also enjoy her funny peppy personality.

8. Responsibility
If you have kids old enough to help out, that is huge! They can learn to feed, brush, walk them and be the “Super pooper scooper” in the yard. This is a big life lesson that will also teach your children to put others first and have compassion while building their self-esteem.

There was one moment in my puppy training mom life with three wild boys wondering if I made a terrible decision. I honestly asked my husband if it was socially acceptable to give her back to the sweet lady we got her from. I knew in my heart I signed up for it but goodness it was a hard phase. Now we are all settled and she’s part of our family. Four boys later and a energetic pup makes a very chaotic house. The best part is she’s the best friend my son needed. She is his calm in a house full of energy.

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