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THE DOCTOR IS IN dog is best for your family takes a lot of thought. Larger dogs might be better suited for families with large yards, while smaller dogs would fit nicely in apartments or condominiums. When looking for a new dog, ask your family what each member wants in a dog. Does your family need a dog for protection or pleasure? There are many small dogs that are just as active as large dogs, and the opposite is equally true. Maybe a hunting dog would be a good addition to your outdoor lifestyle, or a lap dog suits your style of snuggling on the couch. If you choose to adopt a dog from a shelter environment, remember that what you see in the kennel might not be the same dog at home. Kennels can be a very stressful place for a dog and might actually result in a dog that is tired and needs to catch up on rest the first few weeks at his or her new home. Take it easy the first month to allow your new friend to adjust to a new routine.

Financial awareness when selecting a new dog is a very important and often overlooked aspect of dog ownership. On average, prepare to budget about $60 per month for a small dog and about $120 for a large dog. Food, toys, medical bills, licenses and grooming should be included when deciding on a monthly spending budget. Boarding facilities will need to be considered, especially if you travel, and should be researched to find the right fit for your dog. Boarding kennels vary in price as well as quality, from the most basic of needs to an elaborate network of cameras that allow you to take a peek any time of the day via the Internet. Once you have narrowed down your preferred boarding places, make sure to visit them and remember to think like your dog when touring each place. My dogs tend to be less stressed when housed together but away from other dogs. Home improvements might be needed before allowing your new dog

SHANE THELLMAN, DVM

out in the yard or home. Fencing will provide a protective barrier from outside dangers. There are many types of fencing with each having advantages, depending on your dog’s style of play. Tethering a dog can easily be done but can be dangerous for some dogs and might not provide adequate space for your pet to get out all that pent-up energy. Make sure your garden and flower beds as well as your garage are dog-proofed. There are many dangers that lurk in such areas. Neighborhoods or apartment complexes might have specific restrictions or requirements when it comes to accepting a dog within the community. Make sure you ask about the requirements before bringing your dog home to an unwelcoming atmosphere. Once you have decided that the time is right to extend your family, make sure you remember to have fun and hug your fur kid every day!

This Holiday Season Help the Animals at HSWM!

Adopt * Donate * Foster 3077 Wilson Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534

616-791-8089

www.hswestmi.org

November/December 2013 Dogs Unleashed 13

Dogs Unleashed - Nov-Dec 2013  

A lifestyle magazine for dog lovers

Dogs Unleashed - Nov-Dec 2013  

A lifestyle magazine for dog lovers

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