“How much is that doggie in the window?” While the waggly tail and eager expression may have you tempted to ask that very same question, there are multiple questions you should be asking before buying your next dog. Dogs can live for 15 years or more, meaning that your initial purchase is only a small part of both the monetary and time commitment you’ll be spending with your pooch. Don’t let the process overwhelm you. If you’ve done your research and confirmed that a dog is the right fit for your family you can then sit back and enjoy. Needs some tips to get to that jumping off point? You’re in luck!
Consider Your Lifestyle
First things first when it comes to picking out a new dog. Grab a pen and paper and jot down some characteristics of yours or your family’s life that may affect the type of dog you should bring home. Are you very active? Work long hours? Have very small children? What about anyone with allergies in the house? Make a list of traits that your new four-legged family member should have to fit in nicely with your existing family, both animal and human.
Do Your Research
Many characteristics are prevalent in certain breeds of dogs but, just like people, individual dogs can vary wildly, even within the same litter. Start off by reading up on breed traits that might work, or not, for your living situation. Apartment dwellers may want to think twice before choosing a breed that’s known for being vociferous. Someone that enjoys hiking or running long distances likewise may want to choose a breed that’s known for being more active. The American Kennel Club has a handy breed selection tool that is a great place to start your search for your next dog.
Find a Reputable Source
Another essential step in bringing home your next canine is selecting a reputable and ethical source. When buying a dog, you should ensure that your puppy has had the proper shots and a clean bill of health from a reputable area veterinarian. You should avoid buying dogs from the mall or other pet stores, as purchasing these animals can often support the puppy mill trade. Whenever possible, meet your dog’s parents before deciding to bring your new friend home. Chances are that your dog will grow up to have some of their mom or dad’s characteristics and it’s good to know at the outset if there are any qualities that are problematic for you.
A Note on Adoption
Adoption or rescue of a dog is also a viable option, especially for those looking for older dogs or not necessarily in search of a purebred. If you’re looking for specific characteristics you’ll need to do a little more legwork to get to know older dogs or ones with mixed breed heritage. Despite the additional effort, doggie adoption can be incredibly rewarding and an excellence chance to give a pooch a second chance on life.
The Wrap Up
Whether you choose to buy, rescue or adopt, doing your research will be a key theme throughout all stages of bringing home Fido. From breed type to breeder qualities, these important choices at the outset will help set your household up for many years of future happiness. Buying a dog is never a decision you should make on a whim. With plenty of preparation and research, you and your household will be ready to bring home that special canine in no time.