Can You Afford a

It's not polite to discuss finances—especially a personal budget—but this is something you need to talk about before you add a dog to your family. Dogs can be expensive. For the first year of your dog's life, it may seem like money is disappearing from your wallet faster than you can replace it.

Can You Legally Keep a Dog?

You may think that owning a dog is one of your inalienable rights—one of those rights no one can take away. But that's not necessarily so. If you own your home, do you belong to a homeowners' association? What are its regulations concerning dogs? Many associations limit how many dogs may live in each home or have rules concerning the size of dogs allowed.

If you rent, does your rental contract allow dog ownership? In most states, landlords can legally forbid dog ownership. If they do allow pets, they can limit how many pets may be in the home, the sizes, and even which types (such as forbidding dogs or reptiles). Some cities, counties, states, and even countries have outlawed certain breeds of dogs, and some insurance companies will not insure you if you own particular breeds. Before you get a dog, do some research and find out if you can legally keep one.

The most common expenses incurred in a puppy's first year include:

♦ First vet exam, including vaccinations and worming: $100

♦ Second and third vaccinations and exam during each visit: $100—$150

♦ Spaying and neutering, depending on the dog's size: $125—$200

♦ Microchipping, heartworm preventative, and miscellaneous vet costs: $100—$200

♦ A year's worth of high-quality food and treats: $500-$1,000

♦ Grooming supplies, including flea and tick prevention: $100

♦ Kindergarten training class: $75-$100

This list covers only the basics. If you need to build a new fence, shore up an existing one, or build a dog run, your expenses will increase. This doesn't include an emergency room visit, either, should your puppy hurt herself or eat something she shouldn't have eaten. So, before you get a new dog, make sure your budget can handle it.

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Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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