It has been established that owning a pet is a huge responsibility. It is undeniable that dog ownership is a big decision to make, especially for first-time owners. Choosing which pet to get is difficult enough and the process gets a little tougher when other factors are considered, including where to acquire the dog.
So, how do you buy a pet dog? How old do you want your dog to be? Know that your dog will undergo different stages in life and will have varying needs along the way. Every decision you make matters to the overall well-being of your dog.
Just the thought of puppies always brings a smile in someone else’s face. It is fulfilling and self-rewarding to be able to raise a tiny puppy into a well-matured canine. You have to know that this tiny bundle of fur requires a lot of hard work and patience.
Puppies are similar to babies in that they demand a lot of attention and care. In the very early phase, puppies are likely to engage in undesirable actions such as inappropriate chewing. They are quite a handful and they will make a mess at home. To correct their behaviour, you should consider appropriate training for your puppies.
Getting puppies means monitoring their health and making sure they are getting enough nutrients. This is not to discourage potential pet owners but a fair warning on what to expect. You should be good by following these points as a general rule:
- Provide nutritious meals recommended by your vet.
- Expose your pup outdoors.
- Playtime should be balanced with sleeping time.
Getting adult/senior dogs
Ageing in dogs generally depends on the breed. Larger breeds may have shorter lives than the smaller variety. In fact, there are large dog breeds that live for less than ten years such as Saint Bernard and the Bernese Mountain dogs. Apart from the age, potential owners try to avoid adopting older dogs because of their unknown history. However, there are also advantages in owning older dogs:
- Older dogs are still willing to learn. Any existing behavioural problems can be corrected with proper training. Be patient and look for organisations that offer training classes. You may also introduce new tricks and a lifestyle that helps extend their years.
- Older dogs are mature enough to manage easily. Older dogs are ideal for first-time owners as they are more manageable than puppies.
- Older dogs are often already house-trained and socialised. Socialisation and critical learning period have long passed.
- What you see is what you get. There is no surprise when it comes to older dogs. Matured dogs already manifest their natural size and temperament. Take time to get to know them by spending enough time before sealing the deal.
Getting purebred dogs
Even though there are many adoption centres and animal shelters, there will always be people who prefer buying from a breeder and here are the reasons why:
- You get access to your pup’s history.
When you buy one from a reputable breeder, he/she will tell you how the pup was raised. You will have access to medical records and be informed of the dog’s health profile. You will also have the chance to meet and evaluate their parents.
- There is an assurance of having a pup without past abuse or troubles.
A well-raised puppy will have experience of abuse or neglect that might result in any behavioural issues in the future.
- Breeders can give references.
A good breeder may offer you references to other dog owners who have a successful purchase. This allows you to meet experienced owners and ask them questions about the chosen breed.
- There is unlimited information available for a specific breed.
There is always an answer to any question that you might have. There is information on the history, physical appearance, health issues, recommended nutrition diet, and others in books and on the Internet. We have an A-Z dog breeds list that might be of help.
RELATED: Before You Get a Puppy, Ask the Breeder These 8 Questions First
Dogs from shelters can give you as much love and attention as their purebred counterparts. Adoption not only helps dogs find their forever homes, but it also helps in breaking the cycle of stray dog overpopulation.
According to Nadine Kayser, co-founder of the Wild at Heart Foundation, ‘There are 600 million stray dogs across the world so adopting one without a home helps reduce this number, and also reduces the reliance on the dreadful farming industry.’
These canines are available in different sizes, shapes, ages, colours, and breeds. As most of the dogs spend some time in the shelters, their carers can tell you about the dogs’ personality and temperament. This can help you come up with an informed decision. Reliable dog charities offer support for training and pet advice.
There is no assurance that your desired pooch will adapt easily to your home. With that in mind, spend enough time with the canine out of his cage to get to know him better. Find your dog today!