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AVMA: Obama Family Should Use Care When Selecting The First-Family Dog

October 19, 2017

In his acceptance speech Nov. 4, President-elect Barack Obama made a very public promise to his two beautiful daughters: "Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House."

While praising the president-elect for making this important decision immediately after learning of his election to the nation's highest office, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests to President-Elect Obama that the first family should devote the same care in picking a new family pet that he is in selecting others he will be working with on a daily basis.

Dr. James Cook, president of the AVMA, says that Obamas' unique lifestyle will be a consideration. The AVMA can offer the Obamas, or any family considering a new dog, a great deal of information to help adopt and care for a new pet in downloadable brochures at avma/animal_health/brochures/dog_owners.asp.

"Certainly, the president of the United States of America should have any kind of dog that he wants," Dr. Cook says. "But I understand there may be a dog allergy in the Obama family, and, if that's the case, then choosing a dog that has low dander and doesn't shed much may be the right choice."

Dr. Cook adds that rescuing a dog from a shelter is a great option the Obama family should consider. "When you can take an unwanted animal and give it a home, it just makes you feel good," he says.

Dr. Cook said that the top consideration for any family selecting a pet is to first realistically assess the family home, schedule and any special considerations, such as the age of the children or allergies, and then pick a dog that fits your particular needs.

"AVMA has a brochure, What You Should Know About Selecting a Dog, at avma/animal_health/brochures/selecting/dog/selecting_dog_brochure.asp that offers invaluable information that will help ensure that everyone, even the president-elect, is making the right choice," adds Cook.

The AVMA and its more than 76,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at avma for more information.

AVMA