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Published: Mar 12, 2012

Scientific studies and personal anecdotes alike tout the mental, emotional and physical health benefits of owning a dog. As rewarding an experience as dog ownership can be, it is also important to weigh the responsibilities to ensure that you are ready.

Dogs require love, care and attention every day, which means you have to ensure you have enough time to spend feeding and exercising the animal. If you are planning on getting a puppy it is important to make time to train and socialize it.

In addition to your time and energy, it costs a good amount of money to care for a dog. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that initial costs to consider when you get a puppy include vaccinations as well as heartworm, flea and tick prevention programs.

VCA Animal Hospitals recommends bringing your puppy to the veterinarian for dog vaccinations when it is 6 to 8 weeks of age, and then returning for boosters every few weeks.  This core vaccination schedule will protect against common diseases like distemper, hepatitis, rabies and parvovirus in dogs.  VCA reports there are also costs associated with getting all necessary pet supplies and performing a neutering procedure when the puppy is old enough.