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You’re an animal advocate and you just made a kind–hearted decision – it’s time for you to bring home a furry BFF. You probably did a comprehensive research so you have a solid case before trying to convince mom and dad that you are ready to be a fur parent. You even have the list of shelters you wanted to visit to find the perfect dog just for you.

You may have more than enough space in your heart to accommodate a four–legged friend, provide him with all the love and care that he will need, but, do you also have sufficient room, enough time and the extra funds for an additional member of the family?

Before taking home a rescued pup, here are the things to think about.

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1. Take your time in decision making. All dogs are enchanting and it is easy to make a quick but erroneous decision. In order to make the right one, answer questions such as: Do you travel a lot? Are you out most of the time? Who’s going to take care of your pooch when you’re at work? Is everyone in the family open to adopting a dog?
2. Adopt, don’t shop. No matter how many dogs end up in shelters, there are still breeders and pet shops that continue to breed and sell dogs and other animals just for the sake of money. Adoption means providing a ‘furever” home to a shelter dog. Every dog adopted means one soul having a better chance in life.
3. Do the math. Just like humans, dogs will need a lot of things; balanced meal, comfortable bedding, collar and harness, toys etc. They will also need professional care at some point; regular grooming, vet visits, vitamins. Being a responsible dog owner means having the means to provide their needs.
4. Alter your dogs. In the United States, there are about 8 million animals left in the shelters every year. Half of them are waiting to be adopted while the rest are put to sleep only because there is not enough room left for all of them. Make sure to have your dogs neutered or spayed if you can only take care of one.
5. Dog tags and microchipping. A collar and a proper tag with your dog’s name and your contact information (address and at least two phone numbers) is a must. Make sure that they can get home in case they get lost. You may also want to discuss with your vet the process of microchipping, just another way to ensure your dog gets back home.
6. Brush their teeth. Yes! Even dogs need proper dental hygiene. Start getting them used to the having their teeth brushed the moment you take them home. Dental diseases are most common causes of more serious health conditions in dogs.
7. Nail clipping and fur brushing. In addition to taking care of their dental needs, regular nail clipping and fur brushing will help them in stay perfect shape.
8. Monitor what your dog puts in their mouth. Not because you enjoy the food does it mean you should feed them to your dog, too. Several table foods are highly toxic for canine – number one enemy, chocolates.
9. Exercise is not just an option. Dedicate at least one long walk every week. It will be beneficial to both of you.
10. House training is a continued learning. ASAP is only ASAP until you start training your dog. The best time to start teaching your dog is the day he comes home with you. And remember, training your pups is an everyday and long – term process. You do not stop teaching them, you never should.
Taking care of a dog starts the moment you decide you’re bringing them home. If you are positive with all of the mentioned necessities, by all means, please, adopt one.

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