Very Important Things To Think About Before Getting A Dog
Deciding you are ready to bring a dog into your life is a very exciting time, but there are a couple very important key issues you need to first consider before you go out and find your new canine friend for life. This article Very Important Things To Think About Before Getting A Dog will help you make the right decision.
Can You Financially Afford The Cost Of A Dog
Dogs cost money and you need to take this into account when deciding to bring a dog into your family.
They require food, regular standard vet care and worming medications. They may also require expensive, medical treatments throughout their lifetime.
“A dog is for life” is a common phrase used by many animal welfare organizations, but dogs and many other pets, are all too often bought on a whim.
People choose dogs often for how they look, or for what they can offer us; e.g. Pugs and various other designer and non-shedding breeds are picked for cuteness and for people who have fur allergies.
Many of us do not give much thought when purchasing an adorable, squashy faced, Pug puppy, or King Charles Cavalier about the costs of the many health treatments it may, more than likely, require throughout it’s lifetime.
*Note -Due to breeders basically breeding what are considered deformities in the dog world, Pugs and Kind Charles Cavaliers, suffer from serious respiratory and eye issues.
Other dogs such as German Shepherds, Labs and Retrievers often have costly issues with Hip Dysplasia. Smaller dogs can often have expensive knee problems, such as Luxating Patella’s ( Floating Knee Caps).
Where To Purchase Your Dog From – Never Purchase From Pet Shops Or Backyard Breeders
Buying puppies from a pet shop should be avoided at all costs. Pet shops often get their puppies from breeders who run despicable operations such as Puppy Factories/Mills.
Puppy Mills are run by unscrupulous individuals whose only interests are in churning out as many different varieties of cute looking, easily sell-able puppies as possible. The breeding pair, especially the bitches, are kept is appalling conditions, never exercised, or cared for properly. They are not given the time of day, their only function is to be impregnated as often as possible and produce litters.
Check out Oscars Law a charity dedicated to doing all they can to get a ban placed on Puppy Factories (Mills).
Adopting A Dog From A Shelter Or Rescue Group
Although there are many dog breeders around, I encourage you to adopt a dog that really needs a loving home. There are literally thousands of dogs and puppies in need of new homes.
Adopting from an animal Shelter, Pound, or through a Pet Rescue or Pet Re-homing Group is the most ethical and humane way to choose a dog or a cat.
According to Animals Australia the statistic of dogs and cats euthanized in shelters and pounds throughout Australia and New Zealand is around 200,000 healthy animals yearly.
We have to question whether it really is it that important to get a designer dog breed, when instead by adopting, you can actually save a life.
When getting your dog from a shelter, the whole family should come along to meet the dogs and spend a decent amount of time interacting with them, to ensure you pick the right dog for your family. See my article How To Choose The Right Dog For Your Family – What You May Not Have Thought About When Deciding To Get A Dog.
If you have young children, many dog experts say it is best to get a very young puppy, whose personality and behavioural traits are still developing. This is to ensure that your children can be established as dominant leaders to the new pup and that the pup doesn’t see itself as the pack leader. When a dog sees itself as dominant over young children, disciplinary bites can be all too common.
If you are adopting your dog from a rescue group, you want to be sure that you can have a trial period with that dog in your home. This is to ensure the dog fits in and does not display any aggressive behaviour. This again is especially important if you have children.
Many rescue groups have on hand a dog behaviourist who can help with unwanted behaviours, but aggression is not something you should ever take on, unless you are an adult and there are no children around. If you are planing to have children in the near future, again steer clear of any dog that shows aggression.
If you take on a dog with dominant or fear aggression, you need to be prepared, dedicated and very responsible, as you will need to spend many, many month working to rehabilitate the dog and keep it away from other people and also other animals.
Buying A Dog From A Breeder
If you absolutely must go through a breeder, please be sure to go through an officially registered breeder. Although you are doing the right thing be going through a breeder, this unfortunately doesn’t necessarily ensure that all the animal welfare standards are being met by the breeder.
You want to make sure you get to see the parents of the litter, or at least the mother, as the father might have been only brought in for the breeding of the bitch. Ideally you should be able to walk freely around the breeders place and get to handle and pet the various dogs she has in her care.
If the adult dogs in a breeders care seem skittish, nervous, frightened or aggressive this is a very bad sign and you should not adopt from her/him. Actually what you should be doing is reporting them to an animal welfare organization. The same goes for any animals at the breeders home that look unwell or malnourished.
When picking a puppy from a breeder, you want to ensure the puppy is bright, healthy and social.
If you have young children, never pick the nervous, shy, puppy, as this puppy will not cope with the rambunctious and erratic behaviour of young children and it could lead to fear aggression.
Do not go through a backyard or an unregistered private breeder, as you are only encouraging these people to breed more dogs and if they can’t find a home for all their litter of pups, yep you guessed it, off to the local pound they go, or worse they are killed.
BEWARE – Backyard breeders may also be running their own profitable puppy factories selling to pet stores and through private sales etc.
-Animals Australia has this very good article about choosing a dog and the problem of backyard breeders and puppy factories.
-Here is an article by the RSPCA that offers information of Registered Breeding , which includes a pdf Smart Puppy Buyers Guide
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