Getting a new puppy is such an exciting and fun experience. However, it is not as easy as one might think. Owning a dog is a big responsibility, so before you run to the pet shop, SPCA or local breeder, you want to decide what kind of dog you want – big, small, rescue, full bred…
When deciding whether to get a small or big dog, it is important to take your home into account. Do you live in an apartment or do you have a house with a large backyard? If you live in an apartment, chances are a Great Dane or Bullmastiff may not be the best idea. Big dogs need more space and room to run. That’s not to say that small dogs don’t need to run too. They just don’t require quite as much room. Can you imagine a 75-pound dog running figure eights in your studio apartment?
Once you determine what size dog you can accommodate, you want to decide whether you want a rescue dog or full bred. They are all fantastic and all need a loving home.
Full Bred Dogs
If you have your sights set on a full-bred dog, be sure to do your homework about the breeder you select. How do they treat their animals, what is their breeding philosophy? You want to make sure you use a breeder who is breeding healthy dogs with good temperaments. The AKC is a great resource to find a breeder in your area.
There is a huge overpopulation in dog shelters across the country, and adopting a dog is great way to go. Some things to consider before you go to the dog shelter… It is a great idea to take the entire family to the shelter to meet the dogs and see how they act around each family member. Size can also be a bit difficult to determine when getting a rescue. Talk to the staff or volunteers at the shelter to find out about the dogs genes – do they think the dogs parents were big or small dogs? It is also important to try to find out about the dogs habits so you are prepared when you get home. Lastly, don’t forget about the older dogs – they need homes too!
Getting a new dog is an incredible experience! With the right research you can find that perfect pet to bring home. In part two of this post, we will discuss prepping for and bringing home your new pet.