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If you are considering the addition of a canine into your life, be aware that it will require quite a bit of your time, money and commitment. Reject impulse decisions that can have lifelong effects --- not only on you, but your family members as well. Some of the small breeds have a lifespan of 15 years or more. The average cost for the first year of a puppy's life will be close to $2,000, not including the purchase price. Puppies require a great deal of interaction and time for socialization and training. They need to be fed three times a day until they are about six months of age. Young puppies need frequent potty breaks throughout the day and sometimes in the middle of the night. As your dog grows older, he'll still need a lot of love and attention from you. Most dogs need regular walks and exercise. On the average for the total life of a dog with a 14-year life span, you can expect to outlay over $10,000 (based upon a 50-pound dog that lives in the Midwest in 2008 - more expensive places can double or triple this cost).
If you've decided that despite the emotional, time and financial commitment, you still want a dog - you will find the rewards of a loving, loyal companion are well worth it.