Adding a dog to the family is not a decision to rush into as taking care of it is a lot of responsibility. Ensuring that it’s the right move before buying a puppy is best for not only your household but also for Fido. From getting a breed of dog that makes sense for your family to make sure that it’s a healthy fur baby, these four things are a must on the checklist.
1. Which breed is right for you?
Before buying a puppy, decide what type of dog you want and only get the breed that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you have a busy schedule, a smaller breed may not be a good fit. That’s because they tend to be more energetic and need a lot of attention. You could consider a larger breed instead, or one that tends to stay calmer when in an active home. However, a lot of large breeds require walks more often, so keep this point in mind.
Think about the space that you have available too. Certain dogs need a lot of room to run around and play.
Also, be aware that some breeds can become aggressive if you keep them in a confined space. Certain breeds are well suited to living in apartments and small homes, so if you don’t have much space, go for one of these.
If you have young kids, you also need to consider the temperament of the dog. Some puppies are great around children and will want to play a lot, while others are more docile and don’t like the constant hassling from children. If you have a breed that doesn’t do well with kids, then it will be under distress when in the company of a big family, and that’s not fair to the animal.
Finally, you need to consider potential health issues. Certain breeds are prone to health problems, either because of genetics or the way that they have been bred. For example, a pug is typically more likely to have breathing problems and a Labrador may develop hip dysplasia. Be aware of these health risks beforehand to be ready to pay for the treatment if needed later.
Before you make a decision, consider all of these factors to help decide which breed is the right fit for your home.
2. Buying a puppy: Is the breeder reliable?
Check out the breeder too before you decide if they are right for you. A suitable breeder will have an active registration with a reputable canine association. Also, at least one of the parents has all relevant health clearances.
This means that professionals have checked them over and there is no sign of any genetic conditions or diseases related to their breed. A responsible breeder (like this one at www.chocolatelabradorretriever.ca) will also allow you to meet both parents of your puppy too so that you know exactly what you are getting.
They will also ask plenty of questions about your lifestyle because they want to ensure their puppies are going into the best homes. These people care about their animals; it’s not just about money for them.
There are a lot of good breeders out there that care for their dogs properly. However, there is an issue with puppy farms, so you need to check before you buy. A puppy farm is when a breeder breeds their dogs in an inhumane way and they are churning out puppies for profit.
You can tell if a dog comes from one of these places because they are kept in awful conditions and have various health issues. These people simply don’t care about their animals, so do not buy from them! Always do plenty of research into the breeders before making a decision and don’t buy on impulse.
3. Is the puppy healthy?
It’s important to always check the health of your puppy before you buy. Taking in a sick puppy will be extremely distressing for you, family members, and the dog.
A responsible breeder will be able to show you all relevant health clearances, but even then it’s still worth checking yourself. Look at their coat, for example, to make sure that it is clean and shiny with no patches of missing fur. If there are any inflamed areas on the skin, that could indicate an infection.
Make sure that the eyes are bright and clear too without any gunk or discharge from them. Ideally, the eyes are clean and do not have any redness. The same goes for the nose, mouth, and ears, which should all be clear of infection.
Try to check their paws too. A small amount of swelling or bleeding is normal if they have been playing outside, but it shouldn’t be excessive.
Make sure that there are no salt marks on the coat either. These marks indicate they have been licking themselves excessively due to pain from an injury. This can mean anything from allergies to broken limbs, so find out what’s causing the problem before taking them home with you.
4. Can you afford their care?
Owning a dog can be expensive. So, you need to consider whether you are financially stable enough before you buy a new puppy. Think about the costs of essentials like food, grooming, training, and insurance. Also, try to prepare for emergency situations.
For example, think about what would happen if your dog got sick. Or, if the doggie had an accident that required expensive treatment at the vet. Would you have the money to pay right away?
If this would leave you in a bad financial situation, think twice about owning a dog. You can find a full breakdown of the costs at www.thesprucepets.com to help you make the relevant calculations.
A few last words on buying a puppy
Welcoming a puppy into your home is an exciting time, but it’s so important not to rush into it. Check the four things mentioned above first to set the stage for a household with a fur baby that is healthy and content there. It is a big decision for everyone involved and doing your research first is in everyone’s best interests.