Puppies are cute, cuddly, playful and bring great joy to people every day. There's good reason why people that dogs are a man's best friend. These amazing animals are loyal, loving, and will quickly become a part of your family; however, it is important to only get a puppy when you and your family is 100% ready. If you are thinking about adding a canine friend to your family, ask yourself these 5 questions to make sure that you are really ready.

1. Is Everyone in Your Household Onboard? A puppy can be cute, but also very destructive. They require potty breaks around the clock, months of house training, and can destroy a shoe in less than 60 seconds. Consistency is the most important aspect of a dog's training and everyone that lives in the home needs to be aware of that training plan and willing to help.

2. Are You Prepared for A 15 Year Commitment? Most dogs live 12-17 years. Do you have young children that want to grow up with a family dog? Are you prepared to take care of this dog if and when your children move out? Do you plan on moving frequently over the next decade or adding children to your family? There are many factors to consider when thinking about the long-term effects and questions that play into expanding your family with a dog.

3. Can You Commit to Training a Puppy? New puppies are a lot of work. They need to be let out every 2 hours, they need to be leash trained, housetrained, socialized, and taught their manners. This training is something you cannot take a break from or rely on anyone else for. You can hire trainers and go to puppy classes, but ultimately, it is up to you as the owner to follow through at home.

4. Can You Afford a Dog? Adding a dog to your family is like adding another child. You can have upwards of 15 years' worth of care to pay for such as veterinary visits, vaccinations, registration, flea prevention, heartworm prevention, and grooming, as well as maybe a dog beg, bowls, leashes, collars, and other accessories.

5. Do You Like Dogs? This may seem like a funny question to ask, but really think about it. Have you ever owned a dog before? Have you trained a dog? Do you believe a dog is man's best friend? Are you prepared to give up some of your own freedom to care for a dog? When you have a dog, this animal has to be a priority in your life. If you don’t like dogs enough to treat one like family, a dog probably isn't for you.