Choosing a Dog as a Pet
Is a dog for you?
The commitment required is equivalent to having a child so it is important to determine if you are willing and able to put the
effort into looking after a dog.
ou need to be able to devote sufficient time/money/space to look after a dog. Also consider that having a new puppy and a new child at the same time is splitting your resources
too thin to look after both well. Best to consider getting a new pupy when children are at least 5 or 6 years of age.
If spare time to devote to a new puppy is in short supply, consider other pets eg in
decreasing order of care needed:
- Small mammals (pocket pets)
Chose the right breed of dog is like finding the perfect partner – think about your situation, personality and lifestyle and find the dog that will be your perfect match.
How do you do work out the best sort of dog for you?
- Read breed books
- Talk to people that own breeds that you are interested in – dog shows are a good avenue here.
- Look up breed selection sites on the internet (eg www.selectadogbreed.com)
(Consider the possibility that the dog you like may not be suited to you!)
This way you will find a breed of dog that is a “perfect match” and will not be tempted to buy a dog
just because it looks cute in the shop or at the breeders. Try not to buy a puppy on impulse. It should be a well thought out decision.
Crossbreeds may be suitable but more of a gamble because aren’t necessarily an even mix of parents characteristics – can’t predict exactly what physical and behavioural
characteristics will predominate.
Where can you find that dog suited to you?
There are pros and cons to the 4 main sources of a new pet:
- Breeders – can look at the parents but may have to wait a while before a new batch of puppies is ready
- Pet shops – can view a wide range of puppies in short space of time. Will often come with health-care guarantees.
- Backyarders – Often cheaper but often don’t know father and may not be vaccinated
- Pounds – are saving a dogs life but have unknown backround and may be inheriting someone elses problem
Things to look out for when chosing your pup.
- Find a bright interested pup that looks and moves towards you. If you want a quiet dog chose the quietest pup in the group. The pup that is jumping on top of the other pups will
tend to grow up to be the more boisterous dog.
- Check pup over yourself for obvious defects such as undershot/overshot jaws, eye defects, ear infections, patchy hair loss, hernias and limb or gait abnormalaties
- Vet-check your new dog. As soon as purchase your pup (within 2 days) organise a post purchase exam.
Vet will not only check over pup to ensure it is healthy but discuss
health care, training, feeding, worming, heartworm prevention, flea control etc
Expenses to allow for in the first 12 months
- heartworm prevention
- flea control
- Accessories such as beds, food bowls, collars, leads, toys, chews, bones
- obedience training
- council registration
- Accidents, injuries and illness requiring veterinary treatment.
You need to allow for these in the cost of owning a new puppy. Its just like owning a car – the purchase price is only a small part of the cost of ownership.
if you take the trouble to find the right dog for you and look after it well, you will be rewarded with many years of loyal companionship. We look forward to seeing you soon!