pet kitten

Before you acquire a dog

You and a dog would be a perfect match if you...

  • Think that caring for a companion animal for 15 years is not long enough;
  • Can't wait for the big, wet kisses that await you when you get home;
  • Look forward to sharing your home with someone who tracks in mud and sheds all over the house;
  • Don't mind sharing your house with someone who won't clean up after themselves;
  • Look forward to walks in rain, snow, and ice;
  • Are committed to taking care of someone every day;
  • Aren't bothered by a playmate who slobbers all over the tennis ball;
  • Can't think of a better way to spend your money than on pet food, toys, veterinary care, and more toys;
  • Want a playmate who loves you even on a bad hair day;
  • Are committed to spaying and neutering as the right thing to do;
  • Would live in a cardboard box rather than leave your dog behind when you move;
  • ID your companion animal because you couldn't stand it if they went missing and you never saw them again;
  • Believe that obedience training is fun and helps you bond with your dog; and
  • Desire unconditional love and constant companionship.

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of
yourself with him and not only will he not scold you,
but he will make a fool of himself too."
--Samuel Butler

Average costs for dog care...

1st year vaccinations $200
Annual vaccinations $65
Spay/neuter $60-$150 / $50-$100
Toys & grooming supplies $160
Professional grooming up to $50 / visit
Boarding $300 for 10-14 days
Feeding $150 to $400 / year
Training $50 to $100
Flea/tick/heartworm $80 / year
Other vet care $135 / year

(Estimates provided by the Humane Society of the U.S. These estimates vary depending on location, veterinarian, and individual dog. Not all dogs require professional grooming, but they do require regular baths and brushing at home. Fleas and ticks may not be a serious problem, but such costs should be anticipated before acquiring a dog.)

Reasons for keeping your dog indoors...

  • Dogs are social animals and need to be with their family to be healthy, happy, and psychologically well-balanced.
  • Outdoor dogs get bored and may be destructive - dig holes all over the yard or chew on patio furniture.
  • Bored, outside dogs frequently bark incessantly. Your neighbors will be very unhappy, and may complain incessantly.
  • If your outside dog is a watchdog, he can only keep people from breaking into the yard. And not even that, if he is chained. Your house will be easy pickings.
  • Outside dogs are more likely to become aggressive because they become frustrated from lack of attention.
  • Inside dogs are healthier because they are not exposed to lots of diseases and dangers.
  • Outside dogs sometimes jump fences, or dig their way to freedom. They may get lost, stolen, or be hit by a car.
  • Outside dogs encounter more poisons such as antifreeze, rodent bait, and garden chemicals.
  • Indoor dogs won't join roaming dog packs who prey on cats, other dogs, and innocent people.

Shopping list for a new dog...

  • Collar or harness, ID tag, and microchip
  • Leash (6 feet long)
  • Quality dry food
  • Two bowls - one for food, and the other for water
  • Brush
  • Nail clipper
  • Lots of treats
  • Vinegar (mix with water) for "accidents" around the house
  • Toys
  • Crate
  • Dog bed/blanket/rug
  • Dog house (if dog will spend lots of time outdoors)


City of Bloomington, IN
Last updated: Sept. 14, 2009's quote of the day
"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want."
-Joseph Wood Krutch

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