Archive for October, 2010

Things to Consider When Buying a Dog

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Choosing to bring a new pet into your home is a huge decision. Once you have decided on the type of animal you want, there are still lots of additional things to consider. Dogs are one of the most popular pets to have because they provide companionship and tons of affection. This is why they are man’s best friend! When it comes to bringing a new dog into your home, here are a few key things to consider.

Mixed Breed Dog

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For starters, where should you purchase your new dog? Adopting from a local animal shelters or SPCA is a great way to save an otherwise homeless animal. Not only do you find a loving pet, but you also help control the pet population. Most SPCAs and animal shelters include spaying/neutering and the first round of an animal’s shots and vaccinations is included in their purchase price. Best of all, the cost usually remains around $100. However, some animal shelters require a pretty rigorous application process so be prepared to wait a few weeks for approval.Some people prefer to buy a very specific breed of dog. Full-bred dogs are usually hard to find at animal shelters and so you have to seek out breeders. The cost for a full-bred dog can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the desired breed. One of the easiest ways to find a breeder near you is through online directories. Depending on the availability of the breed you want, you may have to wait a few weeks, or even months, for an available litter.

King Charles Cavalier Spaniels

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Before contacting a breeder, it is important to consider exactly what kind of dog is best for you and your situation. Do you live in a smaller-sized apartment, or do you have a house with lots of space, including a backyard? Generally, smaller-sized dogs are best for smaller spaces. Bull dogs, for instance, are small to medium-sized dogs that require light physical activity. They are very mild mannered and will do okay living in a place without a yard. However, just because you live in an apartment without a yard doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get a lap dog. Some larger breeds, like Great Danes, are known for their calm and lazy demeanor, therefore making them great apartment dogs too.If you are looking for a dog and have a fenced-in yard, you have a lot more flexibility in choosing a breed. Golden retrievers and Labradors are two of the most popular family-friendly breeds. These larger sized dogs love physical activity and benefit from having a lot of space to exercise. Field dogs, such as Irish Setters and Field Setters, are smaller in size but high energy dogs that love running around and jumping. For this reason, they are not recommended for apartments.

Border Collie

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Another consideration when buying a dog is whether or not you have children. Often times, people only think about the size of the dog, or how cute it is, instead of its demeanor. As mentioned before, most breeds have distinct “personalities,” so to speak. Beagles and Collies are known for being very patient and child-friendly. More aggressive dogs, like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are not recommended for homes with small children. Young children may accidently agitate these extremely protective and defensive breeds. When introducing any new dog into your home (regardless of its breed), never leave young children—especially toddler-aged kids—alone with the new dog until you are sure that the new dog is completely comfortable in its new space. This phase may take several months.One of the most overlooked things to consider is your pre-existing pets! Cats and dogs are notoriously known for not getting along, but this stereotype isn’t necessarily true. Dogs that have been raised around cats at an early age usually adjust quite well to new cats. Breeds that have been traditionally bred for hunting, like terriers, may not be well-suited to cohabitate with cats or any small animal. These dogs are instinctively bred to hunt small animals. If you already have a cat and are planning to get a dog, its best to choose a dog that is young in age and has a calm demeanor.

Chocolate Labrador Retreiver

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Before purchasing a new dog, be sure to do a little research and read about the different tendencies and personalities of each breed. Consider your overall living space, including the size of your home, the size of your yard, and the rest of your family, including pets. The transition to a new home requires a bit of time both for the family and the new pet, so be patient. If you’ve done your homework and patiently sought out the right dog for you and your family, it will be a smooth transition!

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