Aahhh… that puppy smell. Who could fail to love a puppy?
With so many dogs ending up in rescue centres, there must be a case to think about re-homing a puppy from a shelter. But it’s a difficult call, because purebred dogs have been bred not only for the way they look, but also for their personality traits.
Where should you get your puppy from?
Take my advice and never buy from a pet shop, puppy farm, or commercial breeder - they are only in it for the money and the welfare and health of the animals are at the bottom of the list. Commercial breeders are the people who advertise several breeds of dog, and they will rarely let you see the mother of the pups. Get recommendations from people you trust - your puppy will thank you for it!!
What sort of puppy should you get?
If you’re looking for a dog who will sit quietly by your side, a working breed might not be the best type for you. However, if you have an active outdoor lifestyle, then a working breed would represent a good match.
How many people have you met who got themselves a collie, only to find that the collie is far more mentally and physically agile than they are? So they ended up with a bored out-of-control dog, and eventually the dog was rehomed. How many people do I know who thought a toy breed or a terrier would suit them, only to find that the neighbours objected to their barking? Lots.
A dog can live, typically, for ten or fifteen years. That’s a long time to regret rushing in and inviting a mismatch into your home. If you’re thinking of getting your first puppy, spend time researching the breed to ensure that you have a good match.
Do you have the time to care for a puppy? Are you willing to get out of bed at five in the morning to let your puppy out so he can learn not to mess in the house? Do you have the time, and the stamina, to follow your puppy around when he’s wide-awake to make sure he’s not eating poisonous plants in the garden, or peeing on, or chewing, your favourite rug? Can you stop what you’re doing and give time to playing with a puppy? Do you have time to teach him how not to pull on the lead, or refrain from jumping up and knocking people over? Do you have time to exercise your dog adequately?
It takes a lot of time, on a daily basis, to raise a happy, well-socialised, dog. If you have a dog, you can’t just go off on holiday without thinking of your friend’s needs. You can’t even go to a concert or the theatre if it means leaving your dog on his own for hours at a time. Having a dog is a daily commitment that lasts a lifetime.
Puppies are not only costly to buy, but they can cost a small fortune at the vet’s, especially as they age and time takes its toll. Large breeds also eat a lot – you’ll need a large wallet.
My experience is that it’s cheaper to feed a natural diet because this vastly reduces vet bills. Raw-fed dogs are generally so healthy.
The Ultimate Question
Are you able to offer a puppy enough love and attention? Having a puppy or adult dog is a big responsibility. Sometimes your dog will bring you joy and happiness, and other times he will restrict what you can do. Are you up for the good and the bad?
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