Friday, September 25, 2009

Buying a Puppy? Think First!

    The question comes up in almost every family at least once: “Should we get a dog?”  Dogs are affectionate, good and loyal companions, and puppies are fun to watch.  Apart from that, they have a high “cuddleability factor”.  Wait a moment before your emotions carry you away.  Think before you buy.  Never decide to buy a dog on impulse, even if it’s love at first sight.  Bringing a dog into your home means a lot of changes for the whole family.  You’re actually adding a new member of the family.  Your new housemate must be walked, needs daily care and can’t live on air.  Moreover, it costs time and energy to turn a puppy into a well trained, socialized dog.
     There are plenty of reasons for a family not to buy a dog.  On the other hand, there are fewer reasons to actually do so.  Firstly, never buy a dog as a toy for your children.  Only buy one if you, yourself, want to because a child is absolutely not able to bring up a dog alone and take responsibility for it.  Once you’ve made up your mind to get a dog, then you must carefully consider what sort of dog suits your family situation.  Always keep the following points in mind:
  • A puppy will often whine at night certainly for the first few days.
  • A puppy must be housetrained.  It will certainly foul the house for several weeks (and this can go on until it’s four or five months old!)
  • Housetraining and bringing up a puppy costs time and effort.
  • A puppy must not be exerted to its maximum for the first year of its life.
  • An adult dog must be walked at least three or four times a day, whatever the weather.  At least one walk must be thirty minutes to an hour.
  • With a dog in the house, you can’t simply go away for a weekend.  Either you take it with you, or you have to find someone to look after it.
  • A dog is a pack animal.  It’s not good for it to be left alone a lot.
  • Caring for a dog doesn’t only cost time and energy.  You will reckon with costs between $500 and $1000 a year (vet bills, dog license, food and other expenses).
     Now what?  Still decided to get a puppy? Come on!  I’m not trying to discourage anyone from getting a puppy but I just want to let you know that owning one is not easy but it’s very much worth it.  Check what breed suits your personality, your lifestyle and your temperament.  Make sure you choose the right dog breed, check it out here.  Be aware of the consequences of getting a puppy from a pet shop; get one from a reputable dog breeder.  Next on my list are other things to consider in choosing the right dog for you like what gender, puppy or adult, pet or show quality and others.  Make sure don’t miss it by subscribing via email or rss feeds.
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