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Dear Daisy Dog

I’m thinking about adopting a dog. What do I need to know?

Daisy Responds

I’ll share the discussions my family had before my new brother, a 16-month-old Irish wolfhound, joined us this month.

First, ask yourself if you are willing to make a lifetime commitment – up to 15 years – to a dog. Do other family members agree?

Review your schedule and home environment. Do you have time to exercise a dog? Do you need a fenced yard? Is a spotless home, devoid of dog hair, your ideal?

Consider the cost. All dogs need regular veterinary care, vaccinations and monthly deworming medication, and some require professional grooming.

If you decide that you can provide a loving “forever” home, adopt from a shelter or recognized rescue organization.

There you’ll find trained adoption counselors who can match you with the right dog, taking into account your lifestyle and the dog’s personality.

To prevent behavior problems and foster a long, healthy life, have your dog sterilized and enroll in an obedience course together.

I hope you enjoy your new family member as much as we cherish ours.

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