Is Your Family Ready for a Dog?
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Where are you going to get your dog from?
Do you want to adopt a dog, or buy a puppy from a breeder? Both have advantages and disadvantages. Adopting a dog is a great way to give him another chance at life, but remember that many dogs who are up for adoption come from abusive pasts. Are you able and willing to nurture your adopted pet? Are you able to deal with any issues he may have, such as being skittish around strangers, or afraid of certain types of people? Make sure you think this through before adopting a pet, and be sure to talk to the adoption agency about any special treatment your dog may need. On the plus side, most adopted dogs are eternally grateful to you for adopting them, and many make amazing companions.
As a side note, do not ever purchase a puppy from a pet shop. Although these puppies can be hard to resist, they often come from puppy mills -- mass dog-breeding operations that house dogs in terrible and unacceptable conditions. Although you might think purchasing a puppy from a pet store will save it, in actuality you are just supporting these operations and allowing them to stay in business.