When interested in buying a dog there are ample options. If you’re looking for a puppy, either the shelter or a reputable dog breeder can be of service. Despite all the bad press puppy mills are still up and running in full swing. Adopting a dog is a major process and will impact your life heavily, so the decision making process should be one that is treated with respect and given its due before charging off and bringing home the first cute puppy in the pet store window.
Before you go and get your new little sidekick, be sure that you can handle the cost of owning a dog. These can range from moderate to severe depending on the health and behavior of the dog you bring home. Puppies, just like babies, require several veterinary visits in their first year. They need to be immunized, treated for parasites, and checked up on to make sure there aren’t any hiding health problems about to rear their ugly heads. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill increases the chance of health problems by over 80%.
When looking for information on where and what type of dog you might decide to buy, dog breeders, dog owners, veterinarians, and dog clubs are an excellent source of information. Not surprisingly Labrador Retrievers are the most common type of dog, just under the golden retrievers during the off years. Whenever a dog breed grows in popularity the likelihood of health problems increases. Puppy mills create a surplus of popular dogs and then either sell them for testing or euthanize them when they are too old to adopt out unless they can serve as a breeding dog in which case they will live in a cage with little human contact and never know the feel of grass under their feet.
Buying a dog should be more of a secondary choice if we want to eliminate the unwanted dog problem in this country. If all those who wished for a dog went to shelter instead of a puppy mill or dog breeder for the next five years, over 75% of the dogs in shelters would be saved and puppy mills would struggle to keep their doors open.
Dog ownership can be a beautiful experience for both you and the dog you choose. When seeking out the type of dog you want to bring home, consider the obvious such as the advantages over a grown dog versus a puppy, the size of the space you have to offer them, whether you have a backyard or will need to walk them, and how much time you will be able to devote to dog training. These factors play in tremendously when buying a dog. Other factors, such as whether you rent your home or own your home may play a factor as well. Renters know the size of the home they live in now, but not the size of the home they may live in eight years form now. Not to mention, pet fees for moving into a new apartment are often determined by the pound. Thus a smaller dog may be more appropriate for someone who doesn’t own their own home. However, plenty of renters in the right neighborhoods own large dogs and live happily ever after.
While dog breeders are a wonderful source of information, just as dog owners are, remember that each is biased toward their own dog. Dog breeders who are worth their salt breed dogs because they are in love with the breed, not to earn a living. Dog owners aren’t likely to admit that their dog requires more than they had anticipated and will present their mild mannered pooch as the best thing since the invention of Booda Bones.
Most dog owners, or wanna be dog owners, either grew up with dogs or grew up wanting a dog and already have a basic idea of what type of dog they want to adopt. Those familiar with the breed they are looking for are usually pretty sure. Those who simply admired the breed they are interested in might want to do a little more research before buying a dog. Each individual dog breed comes with its inherent strengths and weaknesses and checking into these rather thoroughly is definitely recommended before adopting a dog.
Playtime at the puppy park, walks in the rain, snuggling up on a chilly evening, and playing a wicked game of fetch are all joys of puppy ownership that can not be replaced no matter how many times we experience it in this lifetime. Responsible dog ownership can lead to years and years of life enhancing enjoyment that makes every moment of research before buying a dog well worth it.