Buying your puppy is like instituting a new member into the family. In this case, you are lucky because you have the opportunity to choose who will come to live with you. You should definitely take advantage of this chance as it will have a huge impact on your lifestyle for years to come. Take into account all of these factors before you make a final decision. Make sure you get the right dog insurance for example as it can be very expensive if you don’t get the right amount of cover.
1. Purebred or mixed-breed dog
Every kennel club will advise you to buy a purebred puppy. These dogs are more predictable and this makes them easier to keep. You know how your pet will look. You know what to expect in terms of personality, care and grooming, intelligence and obedience.
Mixed-breed dogs may be cross-bred. In this case, they are purposefully produced from two breeds. They may be random-breed. In this case, their ancestors are unknown.
In both cases, you will have little idea of what to expect from the dog. He may be more prone to developing medical conditions that you do not know of. He may be much less obedient when he grows up than you have expected. Surprises with size may occur as well.
Generally, you should consider your personal preferences when it comes to choosing a breed. You may also want to consult a breeder and a veterinarian to get a better understanding of the two options.
Size does matter when it comes to buying your puppy. All dogs are small and cute when they are little, but when they grow up, they will need enough space to feel comfortable and move freely in the house. Small dogs and medium sized dogs are more suitable for apartments. If you live in a house, you can readily get a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd. However, you should be comfortable about having such a large dog moving around the house.
You should also consider your physical strength when considering the size of your dog. Even medium sized dogs can really pull strong when you lead them on a leash. Additionally, you should consider having a big pet jumping all over you when you come home.
Every dog has a different personality just as every person does. However, there are some common characteristics of each breed and this makes it easier for you to pick a dog with a character that you like.
Would you be happy with a dog that requires a lot of exercise every day? If you live in a house with a fenced yard, you can readily let your pet play outdoors. However, you have to devote at least an hour a day to exercising with him. This may involve a jog or actually a run in the park. There are also breeds that require medium amount of exercise. They will be happy with a half an hour walk a day. If you cannot afford to devote time to doing some exercise with your pet, you should consider breeds that are generally lazy such as Shih Tzu.
Playfulness is a typical characteristic of all puppies, so you must be prepared for a lot of jumping around and tail wagging. However, not all dogs are playful when they grow up. You need to figure out whether you would like a pet that is trying to play with you all the time or whether you want a more relaxed pooch.
All dogs love their owners, but some express their affection more than others. Generally, families with small kids are often happier with more affectionate pets while adults often prefer a more relaxed companion. It is a good idea to learn more about the puppy’s character when you actually get to see him for the first time.
4. General care and grooming
You must be prepared to feed your pet every day and to provide for him getting enough exercise. Walking your dog daily is recommended even if you have a tiny breed or have your dog playing in the yard most of the time. Daily grooming is a must for breeds with long wavy coats. You should definitely get a pet with a shorter coat, if you cannot devote time to maintenance.
You must take your pet to the vet for check-ups and for vaccination. You need to be prepared to follow all instructions by the vet on feeding, disease prevention and treatment, if necessary.
Puppy dog insurance is another area which needs particular attention, you must make sure you get the right amount of insurance to cover you and your new puppy against all sorts of illnesses and diseases or it could be very costly if you need to visit the vet.
5. Obedience training
Each puppy needs obedience training so that he can feel comfortable in your home and be as safe as possible in any given situation. Some breeds are easier to train than others. You should definitely consider getting a dog that is easy to train if you cannot devote time and effort to training. One important thing to consider is that some very intelligent dogs such as Huskies are often very difficult to train.
6. Can you afford a puppy?
This is a major factor to consider before buying your puppy. You should not expect a dog to be inexpensive, especially if he is purebred. Still, the total cost of caring for a dog is times higher than the price asked for a puppy. When you take a pet home, you must be financially prepared to give him good care for the next ten to fifteen years or even for longer.
Think about the vet expenses, the food cost and the cost different accessories such as a crate, a collar and a leash. You may have to make a small investment in guidebooks and training. You should be prepared to cover all costs associated with keeping a dog. Generally, any breed requires good care and food, so you cannot really choose a puppy that you will be able to save with.
7. Where to get a puppy from?
You are highly recommended to buy your puppy from a well-known breeder. You can readily contact your local kennel club to give you phone numbers and addresses. Getting a dog from a pet shop is a good idea, provided the shop is reputable. They should have all the papers that certify the origin of the canine.
Finally, make sure that you get acquainted with your puppy to ensure that you are right for one another.
Robby Davis owns a pet insurance comparison site in the UK and enjoys writing blogs about animals. We also run a kennel so we know a lot about domestic cats, dogs, rabbits etc.
Also you might need to let your dog insurance company know if there are any major issues as unreported conditions could invalidate your insurance policy.